LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor
Stephen Decatur sophomore Jillian Petito (21) sends the ball upfield during Monday’s game against James M. Bennett in Berlin. Decatur earned a 3-0 shutout.OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI(Sept. 28, 2012) Though it took time for the Stephen Decatur girls’ soccer team to find its groove against the Snow Hill Eagles and James M. Bennett Clippers, the Lady Seahawks prevailed against both opponents.
Last Friday, Decatur traveled down the road to face county rival Snow Hill.
The home team capitalized first, scoring less than five minutes into the game.
“Snow Hill was fired up and we were flat. We got off to a really shaky start,” said Decatur Coach Misty Bunting. “I think it was just nerves and excitement after getting rained out earlier in the week.”
Senior Brittney Calandra, who transfered from Snow Hill to Decatur at the start of the school year, evened the score at 1-all. Less than a minute later, she gave the Seahawks the go-ahead goal. She earned a hat trick against her former team and senior Tori Whigham tallied goals to put Decatur on top 4-1 going into the halftime break.
“We started settling the ball down and played balls through to the forwards on the ground. [We] started rolling at that point,” Bunting said.
Decatur tacked on five additional goals, two of which were netted by Calandra, in the second half to win the game 9-1.
Calandra led Decatur with five goals. “Her goals came out of hustle,” Bunting said.
Whigham (two assists), junior Liz Rougcher and sopho- mores Jillian Petito and Payton VanKirk scored one goal apiece. Junior Ashley De- Paul started in goal for Decatur and recorded six saves. Freshman Lexi Gausepohl made three saves in the second half.
Decatur hosted Bennett on Monday. The Seahawks attacked the Clipper goal from the opening whistle. Nine minutes into the contest, Whigham knocked the ball into the goal off freshman Lexi Mc- Donough’s corner kick.
Calandra scored about 10 minutes into the second half. She added another goal less than five minutes later to boost Decatur’s advantage 3-0.
“We were flat, particularly up top, in the first 20 minutes. We were playing some nice balls through from the midfield, but it seemed like we were half a step behind. And it seemed like we played too much kickball in the first half,” Bunting said. “Once we settled down things went much better. We picked up the level of hustle and aggressiveness in the second half.”
DePaul recorded eight saves for the Seahawks.
On Tuesday, Decatur will take a trip to Salisbury to play the Parkside Rams.