Spartans hoping hockey win over Milford starts winning streak

MILFORD – Last season was bittersweet for the Lake Forest field hockey team.

Despite staging a late season run to finish 9-6, the Lady Spartans were left out of the playoff field. It’s a feeling they don’t want to experience again.

Lake's field hockey team moved back to .500 with a win over Milford. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Lake’s field hockey team moved back to .500 with a win over Milford. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

“I would like a crystal ball to be able to answer that question,” Spartans head coach Michele Tucker said about reaching the playoffs following last week’s 2-0 win over rival Milford. “Unfortunately we’re going to have to see how the numbers play out. We just have to have faith things are going to work out. We want it real bad, but we’re humble enough to not speak too soon.”

Thursday’s victory over Milford – which was courtesy of a first half goal by senior Joy Springer and a second half score from sophomore Kaitlyn Stahre along with a suffocating defensive effort that produced a shutout – moved the Spartans to 3-3-1 on the season. Along the way, Lake was able to tie perennial Henlopen South champion Delmar 2-2 and played four-time defending state champion Cape Henlopen to a one-goal (2-1) loss.

Although the remainder of the schedule figures to be slightly easier than the first half, there are plenty of difficult teams remaining to be played and Lake needs as many victories as it can manage to be part of the playoff field.

Included in those contests is Tuesday’s game versus 5-2 Woodbridge and a pair of home contests to close out the season against powerhouse Polytech on Oct. 29 and 5-3 Caesar Rodney in early November.

“It’s pressure, but we really want it and have it in us,” Springer said. “Just practice hard every day, give and goes, communicating.”

Milford, which fell to 4-3-1 with the loss, also likely has its sights set on reaching the playoffs. The Lady Buccaneers, however, are in the same boat as Lake Forest and likely need to win most of their remaining contests to keep playing in November. The Bucs are at Caesar Rodney on Thursday for a 4 p.m. game.

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