(May 16, 2014) Stephen Decatur’s girls’ lacrosse team captured the 3A-2A East Region championship title Wednesday night, with an 18-5 victory over the Calvert Cavaliers in Berlin.
Decatur, the No. 1 seed in Section I of the 3A-2A East Region, got on the board early and never looked back. Senior captain Erin Florek gave the Lady Seahawks a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Junior Payton VanKirk made it 2-0 a minute and a half later. Back-to-back goals by junior Blair Yesko boosted the home team’s advantage to four goals. Decatur led 13-2 at halftime.
“They had three players that we were concerned with…but from what we could determine of them, we couldn’t see any team offense,” said Decatur Coach Bob Musitano. “Our defense just played really well.”
Senior captain Layla Fowler and Yesko finished the game with three goals and two assists each. Florek chipped in with three goals and one assist.
Junior goalie Jillian Petito stopped five Calvert shots.
“Jillian had another monster game in the goal,” Musitano said.
Freshman Sara Mitrecic made one save in the second half.
After the game, Musitano said it “feels great” to win the regional title.
“I told them everything looks like it’s going to align properly if they just keep focused and they did. They really did,” Musitano said.
Decatur advanced to the regional championship game against Calvert, the No. 1 team in Section II of the 3A-2A East, after earning a 12-8 victory over the Section I No. 2 team, the Parkside Rams, Monday in Berlin.
Parkside scored first, 49 seconds into the match. Senior Cassidy Remmell tied it 1-1 and VanKirk provided Decatur with the go-ahead goal. Goals were traded in the first half and the score was even, 4-4, with one minute to play before halftime.
Senior Sammi Quilter netted a shot with 23.6 seconds on the clock to give the Seahawks a 5-4 lead going into the break.
During halftime, Musitano said he told the Seahawks, “It’s one and out. If you don’t start to control the game, this is it.”
Musitano made some personnel changes in the second half and gave some players a rest.
Decatur led 7-6 with 13:35 left in the game. Goals by sophomore Elle Bargar, freshman Brigitte Ardis and two by Remmell put the Berlin squad on top, 11-6 with 6:30 remaining.
“We just made so many wrong decisions (in the first half), but they gutted it out. It looked like they were still a little tired from prom (two nights earlier). You could tell they were dragging,” Musitano said. “In the second half we were spread out and we didn’t force anything. If you were open, you got the ball…I’m pleased with the outcome, but it wasn’t easy getting there.”
Quilter and Remmell tallied three goals apiece. Yesko contributed two goals and Florek (three assists), Bargar and VanKirk each scored one goal each.
Petito recorded 11 saves.
“She just ate them up. If you’re right on top of her you’re going to have a problem,” Musitano said.
Decatur defeated the No. 4 seed, the Kent Island Buccaneers 16-8 in the Section I semifinals last Friday in Berlin. Leading the charge for the Seahawks was VanKirk with four goals and one assist.
VanKirk twisted her ankle during Wednesday’s game against Calvert, but Musitano is hoping to have her for Saturday’s match, where Decatur (14-2) is scheduled to battle the 3A-2A West Regional champs, the Oakdale Bears (15-2), at Annapolis High School in the state semifinal round.
To be successful, Musitano said the Seahawks must “play our game.”