Decatur girls’ lax team wins battle against WP, 14-10

(May 1, 2015) Many of the girls on Stephen Decatur and Worcester Prep’s lacrosse teams are friends and play, or have played, club and travel ball together.

On Monday, the two squads squared off on Worcester’s field in Berlin. Despite a late run by Worcester’s Lady Mallards, the Decatur Seahawks won the game 14-10.

“There’s lots of emotion [on the field]. It comes down to bragging rights,” Decatur Coach Bob Musitano said. “We came out to play and so did Worcester. It was a nice win.”

Sophomore Lexie VanKirk got things going for Decatur just 44 seconds into the game.

Goals by senior captain Ally Beck and junior Elle Bargar boosted the Seahawks’ advantage to three.

Prep senior captain Sophie Brennan and sophomore Karlie Southcomb scored to cut Decatur’s lead to one.

Bargar then netted a shot to put the Seahawks on top 4-2. Sophomore Leigh Lingo brought Worcester to within one with 2:46 remaining in the half, but goals by senior captain Blair Yesko, VanKirk and her sister, Payton, a senior, in the final minutes extended Decatur’s lead to 7-3.

The VanKirk sisters and Bargar tallied one goal apiece to provide the Seahawks with a 10-3 advantage with 16:44 left in the game. Shortly after, Prep Coach Leigh Anne Flounlacker made a goalie change and put senior Carolyn Dorey in for freshman Sophie Bandorick.

Brennan was awarded a free position shot and was successful to give Worcester its fourth goal.

Goals were then traded over the next few minutes with Bargar and Yesko scoring for Decatur and junior captain Grace Tunis and Brennan for Worcester. The Seahawks now led 12-6.

Tunis made it 12-7 with 3:55 on the clock, but Decatur sophomore Victoria Kerkovich answered with two minutes remaining in the competition.

Brennan netted two shots within 20 seconds and Worcester trailed 13-9 with 1:28 to play.

Musitano called a timeout to give his players a breather.

“Toward the end we had a little bit of a letdown because the girls were tired,” he said. “I wanted to give them a minute, and then we said, ‘OK, let’s win this.’”

Bargar tallied Decatur’s 14th goal with 52 seconds left, but Worcester was able to net one more, courtesy of Lingo, as the time ticked down to 40 seconds.

“I think our girls just wouldn’t be denied,” Musitano said. “Elle Bargar is becoming our go-to girl. She plays hard, she controls the ball, she’s fearless, she picks up every ground ball. She plays like she’s driven and she is.”

Bargar finished the game with five goals and one assist. She won seven draws.

Lexie and Payton VanKirk chipped in with three and two goals, respectively. Yesko contributed two goals and two assists and Kerkovich and Beck logged one goal each.

Senior captain, goalie Jillian Petito, stopped seven Prep shots.

Brennan led Worcester with five goals. Lingo (one assist) and Tunis (two assists) had two goals each and Southcomb scored once.

Bandorick recorded three saves and Dorey stopped two Decatur shots.

“It was a tough loss, but the girls really fought to the very end. I don’t think the gap in score was really the factor, we weren’t getting our shots in and we were making mistakes that Decatur capitalized on,” Flounlacker said. “I think we had the skill and determination to run with Decatur, but it just wasn’t our day. At the end you could tell the girls were fighting with everything they had, but we just came up short.”

Flounlacker played for Musitano at Decatur for four years. She graduated in 2011.

“It was great to be able to coach against my former coaches. Although I’m competitive and still want to win, I have so much respect for Musitano and [Assistant Coach Michelle] Fluty and will always enjoy running into them,” she said. “They both influenced my development on the lacrosse field greatly and it’s fun that I can pass on what they, and many other great coaches and mentors, gave to me to more aspiring lacrosse players.”

Flounlacker said she is excited for her alma mater to be doing so well. The win over Worcester boosted Decatur’s record to 10-0.

“The increasing growth of competitive lacrosse on the Eastern Shore is an exciting thing and that’s the whole point of this; to give these girls greater opportunities to improve and be able to compete at high levels,” she said.

Musitano said it was “fun” to coach against Flounlacker.

“She was a special player when she played for me,” he said. “She’s hard working and she’ll motivate them. She realizes she has a young team and they’ll get better with her as their coach.”