SD Lady Seahawks pumped to face WP Mallards, win 13-7
(April 21, 2017) The Stephen Decatur girls’ lacrosse team built a nine-goal lead in the first half of last Saturday’s game, and although the Worcester Prep Lady Mallards came on strong in the second half, the visiting Seahawks held on to win, 13-7.
“We had two strong practices going into the game,” Decatur Coach Sara Braniecki said. “The cross-town rivalry gets them pumped up. They were excited and ready to go.”
Playing on Worcester’s field in Berlin for their annual match, Decatur scored seven goals in a span of about 10 minutes. With 13:54 remaining in the half, the Seahawks led 7-0.
Freshman Carly Hoffman tallied Worcester’s first goal with 7:14 on the clock. Decatur tacked on three additional goals to go into the halftime break on top 10-1, which was a surprise to Braniecki.
“I wasn’t expecting to be up 10-1 at halftime. Once we started putting away our shots we had a lot of momentum,” she said. “We were working together really well. We were opening opportunities for each other and if one thing wasn’t working we were seeing the next option.”
The Decatur defense, she said, was communicating and not giving Worcester any opportunities to score.
“We knew we wanted to keep it going in the second half,” Braniecki added.
Prep Coach Brooke Hahn had a different discussion with her players.
“At halftime, we basically just reassured them that they certainly have the ability to play with them and to get out of their own heads,” Hahn said. “We said to think of the score as 0-0 and that we have plenty of time to get plenty of goals. We knew once we would get a couple of goals it would completely change their attitudes and the momentum of the game.”
Hoffman netted the Mallards second goal less than six minutes into the second half. The Prep squad then went on a five-goal run to cut Decatur’s lead to 10-6 with seven minutes left in the competition.
Decatur senior Victoria Kerkovich ended the home team’s streak, scoring with about five minutes to play.
Prep senior Karlie Southcomb recorded her team’s final goal with 2:31 remaining.
Kerkovich and senior captain Lexie VanKirk logged goals with 32 and 3.4 seconds on the clock, respectively, to make it 13-7.
“We knew Worcester Prep had the talent and we knew they would come out strong in the second half, and they did,” Braniecki said. “We weren’t winning the draws and we got a little loose, despite our halftime talk. We had trouble regaining composure on both ends. We played sloppy. Luckily, we were ahead by so much.”
Kerkovich led Decatur with four goals and one assist. Senior Logan Figgs contributed three goals. Senior captain Claire Porter chipped in with two goals and five assists. VanKirk (one assist), senior captain Christina Romano and juniors Chloe Sass and Lily Belle Baker scored one goal each.
Goalie, senior captain Sara Mitrecic, stopped nine Worcester shots.
“They played well and they played as a team, especially in the first half,” Braniecki said. “We were happy to get the win. We needed that big win, for sure. Hopefully, the girls will use some of the momentum going into Friday’s game [against Kent Island].”
Hoffman, Southcomb and sophomore Delaney Abercrombie had two goals apiece for Worcester. Senior captain Julie Talbert added one goal and two assists.
Junior goalie Sophie Bandorick recorded 12 saves.
“Our high pressure rides and defense slowed Decatur’s momentum in the second half enough to give us the opportunities we needed to get ourselves into a better rhythm, plus we started making more of our shots on goal,” Hahn said. “They worked really hard in that second half and we were really proud of how they found the inner strength to move beyond being down by so much.”
Worcester’s next game is against Calverton School, Saturday at 2 p.m. in Berlin.
Decatur is scheduled to battle Kent Island today, Friday, at 5:30 p.m. in Stevensville.