One game at a time is practically the gold standard of coach speak and they have taken it to heart in the Tri-Valley League.
“You are absolutely right about not looking ahead,” Milford boys coach Frank Spurchise said. “Our team will be competitive and we will take one game at a time and see how we progress.”
Still, for Cherry Valley-Springfield and Milford, in boys and girls soccer, one almost can’t help but look ahead to the last games of the season. Circle the date: Oct. 14. It isn’t just Columbus Day, it may be the day the Tri-Valley East titles are decided in soccer when the Milford girls are at CV-S and the CV-S boys are at Milford.
The East powers are arguably each other’s biggest rivals too, and all four teams should be good this season.
The Wildcat girls under Chris Saggese have won the East title three years in a row. They tied Morris for the cross-over title the past two years. Milford lost very few players from last year’s squad which finished 11-3-3, losing to Section Four Class D champion Franklin on a late goal in the section semifinals. In addition, they get back junior Emilie Mertz, who missed soccer season last year with a knee injury.
Milford is still a young team. Many of the key players last year were freshman and several were eighth graders. Senior Kaley Chase, sophomore Addy Lawson and sophomore Hannah Saggese will be key players. Chase led the team with 15 goals. Lawson had 10 goals and seven assists. Saggese had nine goals and nine assists, and will have to step up and replace Francesca Green, the Milford sweeper who was the heart of last year’s team.
In addition, the goalie tandem of Rukiya Henderson and Monica Ridgeway – who were coming in untested last season – now have some experience in the net.