Five Wildcats scored goals as Milford won a Tri-Valley East showdown over visiting Richfield Springs, 5-1, on Tuesday.
With the win, Milford improved to 6-2, 4-2 in the conference, setting up two big division games with East leader Cherry Valley-Springfield in the next two weeks.
“We’re getting there,” Milford coach Chris Saggese said, “but it was kind of hard to judge from this one.”
The Indians were already playing short handed because of injuries; after two of the players were carried off the field in the second half, they finished the last 10 minutes of the game with just nine players.
Milford controlled the action, with close to 90 percent of the game being played on Richfield’s half of the field.
“We did a very nice job of applying pressure to them,” Saggese said. “We locked them down in the square and didn’t let up.”
The Wildcats outshot the Indians 28-5, and didn’t allow a shot in the first half. Indian goalie Vanessa Miller, under pressure all game, had 20 saves. Milford’s two goalies, Rukiya Henderson and Monica Ridgeway had only four saves on five shots between them.
Francesca Green had the first goal for Milford, with 22:17 left in the first half. Green’s shot came from outside the box and bounced off an Indian defender and into the goal.
Just before halftime, Madeleine Zenir made it 2-0. Zenir chased down a ball in the right corner, deked her defender and kicked the ball allthe way across the field into the left corner of the goal.
With 32:51 left in the game, Kiera Higgins scored on a pass from Hannah Saggese. Saggese dribbled into the middle of the box then passed to Higgins on her right.
“That was a great pass, very unselfish,” Chris Saggese said of his daughter’s play, “and Kiera finished it with her left foot, which was nice to see.”
With 24 minutes left, Kaley Chase scored on a breakaway to make it 4-0. Just over three minutes later, Hannah Saggese made it 5-0, shooting from outside the box and scoring when the ball bounced off Miller’s fingers and into the goal.
The Indians got their lone goal with 15:03 left in the game when Shannon Vigh scored on a rebound.
The win sets up a home and home match-up with the Patriots, who, as of press time, led Milford in the T-V East by one game. Like Milford, CV-S also lost its match-up with Section Four Class D champion Morris; however, CV-S beat Franklin 1-0 at home while Milford lost 4-0 to the Purple Devils on the road.
“It is going to be huge,” Saggese said. “Two very good teams playing. Cherry Valley always has good athletes. It is going to be a big test for us.”
On Monday the two teams will play at CV-S. On Oct. 9 the rematch will take place at Milford.
Milford 5, Richfield Springs 1
RS 0 1 _ 1
Milford 2 3 _ 5
RS: Shannon Vigh 1-0.
Milford (6-2, 4-2): Francesca Green 1-0, Madeleine Zenir 1-0, Kiera
Higgins 1-0, Hannah Saggese 1-1, Kaley Chase 1-0.
Shots-corner kicks: R 5-1; 28-10.
Goalies: Vanessa Miller (R) 20; Rukiye Henderson (M) 0, Monica Ridgeway (M) 4.