(May 23, 2014) The Stephen Decatur girls’ lacrosse team’s season came to an end with a 10-8 loss to the Oakdale Bears in the 3A-2A state semifinals last Saturday at Annapolis High School.
Decatur Coach Bob Musitano said the Lady Seahawks were “sound asleep” at the start of the match as Oakdale scored four unanswered goals.
Junior Blair Yesko tallied Decatur’s first goal about 11 minutes before halftime. After the goal, Musitano said the Seahawks “woke up.”
Senior captain Layla Fowler cut the Bears’ lead to two, but the home team answered.
Goals by juniors Payton VanKirk and Ally Beck brought the Seahawks to within one goal. Oakdale held a 5-4 advantage going into the halftime break.
The Bears jumped ahead by two goals less than a minute into the second half.
VanKirk scored twice and senior captain Erin Florek netted a shot to give Decatur a 7-6 lead with about 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The Seahawks almost went up 8-6, but referees disallowed a goal, saying that the follow-through was in the goal crease, which Musitano said is legal.
Oakdale tied it 7-7 then scored twice more to pull ahead 9-7 with just under seven minutes on the clock. VanKirk netted the Seahawks’ eighth goal with about six minutes left in the contest.
The Bears gave themselves a two-point cushion with about three minutes remaining. They held the ball in the final minutes to run down the clock.
VanKirk was Decatur’s top producer with four goals. Fowler, Yesko (one assist), Florek and Beck each scored once. Junior Jillian Petito stopped six Oakdale shots.
“We had two assists and they had three, which means it was all one-on-ones,” Musitano said. “We just couldn’t get a foothold.”
The Seahawks were called for 40 fouls, according to Musitano’s scorebook, and the Bears were only penalized seven times for physical play.
“Our girls were definitely on them and fouling them, but they were physical and they deserved about the same number,” Musitano said. “It was a tough game. It was a hard-fought game by both teams. We fought all the way until the end.”
Decatur advanced to the state semifinal game after trouncing the Calvert Cavaliers, 18-5, in the 3A-2A East Regional championship game last Wednesday in Berlin.
The Seahawks finished the year, 14-3.
Musitano said he would call the season “successful.”
“It was a very good season. We got to the state semifinals and I’m pleased with that. Now we’ve got to build on it for next year,” Musitano said. “Two years ago we lost a bunch of girls (to graduation) and we went 9-5. Last year we started building up (11-3 record) and this year we took off.”
Six starters will graduate next week, but Musitano said there are talented players to step in and fill the vacant spots on the field.
“We have a good group coming back and some surprises coming up (from the JV program),” Musitano said. “I think we’ll be as good next year as we were this year. I think we can repeat.”