(Nov. 1, 2013) The Lady Seahawks gave it their all, but the Stephen Decatur girls’ soccer team came up short against the Huntingtown Hurricanes during Tuesday’s MPSSAA Section I semifinal round of the 3A South Regional tournament.
“They played a fantastic game. They came out from the first whistle fighting,” said Decatur Coach Misty Bunting after the Seahawks’ 4-3 loss in Calvert County. “It was by far the best game our team has played all season.”
Junior Jillian Petito gave No. 2 seeded Decatur a 1-0 lead 17 minutes into the game. Top-seeded Huntingtown evened the score three minutes later.
One minute before halftime, sophomore Seahawk Lexi McDonough crossed the ball and senior captain Rebecca Lederman headed it into the goal.
In the second half, the Hurricanes netted three shots in 18 minutes to take a 4-2 lead.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Petito cut Huntingtown’s advantage to one. The visiting Seahawks were unable to tally a fourth goal in the final minutes.
“They played with heart and they didn’t give up. Huntingtown was 11-0-1 and they only had three goals scored on them all season,” Bunting said. “It was the first time all season the girls walked off the field feeling proud they played as a team. They played the best they could and I can’t ask for any more than that.”
Bunting said freshman goalie Rachel Florek had a fantastic game and played liked an experienced, seasoned keeper. She stopped 20 Hurricanes’ shots.
Decatur advanced to the sectional semifinal rounf after defeating the fifth-seeded Northeast Eagles 7-4 last Thursday in Berlin.
McDonough put Decatur on the board 13 minutes into the game. Seventeen minutes before halftime, Northeast evened it up and pulled ahead 2-1 three minutes later. Petito made it 2-2 five seconds before the break. Her goal got the Seahawks’ fired up, Bunting said, and gave them momentum going into the second have.
Lederman provided Decatur with the go-ahead goal five minutes into the second half, but Northeast answered three minutes later.
Petito was wide open in front of the goal and buried her shot and the Seahawks led 4-3 with 24 minutes left in the match.
Lederman scored twice and Petito one more time to boost Decatur’s advantage to 7-3. Northeast notched a fourth goal with 25 seconds on the clock. Florek had 10 saves.
Decatur finished the year 8-5.
“We had our ups and downs, but I’m so proud of the girls for the way they don’t give up,” Bunting said. “It’s been a really fun season. They’re a great group of kids and I feel lucky to have coached them.”
The team will lose its three senior captains–Lederman, Liz Rougcher and Rebecca Haskell–to graduation.
“They’re key players, no doubt, but we’re lucky we have a lot of young talent,” Bunting said. “The future looks bright for Stephen Decatur soccer.”