(Sept. 26, 2014) Several members of the Stephen Decatur and James M. Bennett girls’ soccer teams are friends and play ball together on travel and club squads.
The matches between the two schools are always battles and Tuesday’s competition in Salisbury was no different.
“They’re the toughest team we’ve played so far,” Decatur Coach Maggie Berke said after her squad’s 3-1 victory. “It’s the biggest win we’ve had all season because it’s such a rivalry.”
Bennett scored about 12 minutes into the match and the home team went into the halftime break on top, 1-0.
Berke said the Lady Seahawks didn’t play badly in the first half, but they just were not playing “their game.”
During their halftime talk, Berke said she told the Seahawks that they needed to start playing their way–move the ball on the ground, work it wide to spread the field and pass to feet.
About 13 minutes into the second half, sophomore Lexie VanKirk scored off a pass from senior captain Jillian Petito.
Once Decatur netted its first goal, the momentum shifted in the squad’s favor.
Senior Rachel Bourne gave the visiting Seahawks the go-ahead goal about four minutes later.
Sophomore Brigitte Ardis added an insurance goal with seven minutes remaining in the match.
Sophomore Mallory Vara earned the assist on both goals.
Decatur keeper, junior Lexi Gausepohl, stopped five Clippers’ shots.
“The second half was a totally different game. They got the nerves and jitters out and started to play soccer,” Berke said. “I think we’re looking good. They’re improving every game. I’m happy with the way they’re playing.”
Decatur is scheduled to travel to Ridgely to take on the North Caroline Bulldogs on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.