(Nov. 12, 2021) The Stephen Decatur field hockey team lost 2-1 to the James M. Bennett Clippers in the MPSSAA 2A East Region II semifinal round last Monday in Salisbury.
“They played hard. I couldn’t ask any more from them,” said Decatur Coach Katie Griffin.
Junior Bre Ferguson scored for No. 3 Decatur off a freshman Ava Snelsire pass about five minutes into the second quarter.
Second-seeded Bennett tied it up, 1-1, with eight minutes left in the third. The Clippers went ahead, 2-1, three minutes into the fourth quarter.
“They gave it everything they had. They worked together and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Griffin said.
Decatur junior goalie Sarah Smith recorded 12 saves.
“I told the seniors the legacy they’re leaving behind will be felt for years to come,” Griffin said. “They wanted more for the program. They taught the girls how to be competitive and want to win. They had a lasting impact on the girls that will carry on.”
Decatur finished the season 4-8, and with one tie. The team will graduate four starters.
“A lot of our girls are young. A lot of underclassmen got a lot of playing time – we started four freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors,” Griffin said. “And, we have a good, core group coming in, with experience. We’ve been working behind the scenes to make it a positive experience for the players.”
Decatur had one of its most successful seasons in a number of years.
“My husband [Stan] said the team has been the talk of the school building. There’s a buzz about Stephen Decatur field hockey now,” Griffin said. “We’re not counted as a guaranteed win anymore. Teams really have to consider us now. To accomplish that will help grow the program.”
Griffin said she enjoyed coaching the group this season.
“They make my job easy. They’re always willing to learn,” Griffin said. “They want to learn and get better. It’s been a pleasure to coach them. I’m excited to see where it goes.”