As we continue our series looking at the best of the best from Milford athletics over the past school year, this week we feature the boys lacrosse team.
After second-straight Henlopen South Championship, this past season the Buccaneers once again proved they’re one of the top programs in the entire state.
Just two seasons removed from a 5-10 mark that saw them miss the playoffs, the Milford lacrosse program bursted back onto the season the last two years, dominating the rest of the Henlopen South Division.
This past spring, the Buccaneers finished the season 12-3 overall, winning the division again and clinching a spot in the DIAA Boys Lacrosse State Tournament.
“It’s always great to win the Henlopen South and we look at that as something we expect every year,” said Milford Head Coach Blake Faulkner about his team’s performance this past season. “It’s a testament to the players and the work they put in each and every day.”
With just two seniors on the team, Shane Gaglione and Nicholas Slonacher, the Buccaneers were one of the younger teams in the state, but they still packed a big punch.
Milford finished 11-1 against the Henlopen Conference and suffered just three losses during the regular season, all to teams who finished with winning records. The Bucs only losses came to playoff teams Delaware Military Academy and Caravel Academy, along with divisional foe Delmar who just missed out on the postseason; those three teams combined to go 33-12 overall during the regular season.
The team’s two seniors, Shane Gaglione and Slonacher, both led by example on the field. Shane Gaglione and Slonacher were both named all-conference players at goalie and defense respectively.
“Shane is the anchor of our defense and our team, in my opinion, one of the best goalies in the state,” Faulkner said. “His leadership has really helped to mold a new, but exciting defensive unit.”
While the Buccaneers’ run in the state tournament ended early after losses in the Henlopen Conference Championship Game and the opening round of the tournament, many of the players that took the field in those games will be back next season.
“We have a very young group,” Faulkner said. “There are a few that remember last year, but most of them experienced all of this for the first time.”
Some of the players that will be back next spring have already established themselves as top players within the conference, including junior Jon Gaglione, sophomores Conor Christie, Alex Herka and freshman Landon Hajek and Bryce Wells, all of whom were named to the All-Henlopen Conference team this past season.
That group will look to continue the programs winning ways.
“We never forget what has happened in the past, every win and every loss,” Faulkner said. “It’s the acceptance of the past that helps our players and our team keep moving forward and truly strive to achieve our goals, to make history and be remembered.”