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Lady Seahawks win season opener 1-0 over Warriors

(Sept. 12, 2014) A single goal was enough to secure a victory for the Stephen Decatur girls’ soccer team during last Friday’s season opener against the visiting Easton Warriors.

“The girls played awesome today. The first half was a little iffy, but we really picked it up for the second half and they played their hearts out,” said Decatur Coach Maggie Berke.

The teams went into the halftime break scoreless.

During their halftime talk, Berke said “we discussed that we need to pick up the pace of the game, we need to do a little bit less touches on the ball, connect passes to feet and just play our game and they got their heads together and did it.”

The Lady Seahawks came out in the second half determined and 12 minutes in, senior captain Jillian Petito gave the home team a 1-0 lead.

“We just knew we had to come out hard and we needed a goal and so just after halftime we came out as hard as we could. Lexie [VanKirk] passed the ball to Payton [VanKirk] to the corner and Payton dropped it back to me,” Petito said. “The goalie was diving and I put it where she came from, in the corner.”

Added Berke, “The goal definitely gave us that boost that we needed because the girls were starting to get tired out there and that just motivated them to keep on going.”

The Seahawks held the Warriors scoreless to pull out a one-goal victory. Decatur junior goalie Lexi Gausepohl recorded four saves.

“This (win) definitely gives us a huge boost of energy and makes us excited for the next game,” Petito said. “Every game’s a tough game so we’ve got to come out hard every time.”

The Seahawks took a trip to Queen Anne’s County to battle the Lions on Tuesday. Petito and Lexie VanKirk each scored a goal in the first half to give Decatur a 2-0 advantage.

The Lions cut the lead to one about 10 minutes into the second half, capitalizing on a penalty shot after a handball in the box was called on the visiting Seahawks.

Petito netted two shots in the second half and Decatur won the game, 4-1. Gausepohl logged seven saves. She also assisted on one of Petito’s goals. Gausepohl punted the ball, Petito received it and scored.

“I thought we played well in the first half. We got a little sloppy in the second half, but we picked it up and worked together,” Berke said after the match. “I saw a lot of good things happen today.”

The Mardela Warriors are scheduled to play the Seahawks Tuesday in Berlin at 5:30 p.m.

Stephen Decatur sophomore Lexie VanKirk holds off a charging Easton player and maintains possession of the ball.

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