lax stick

(May 10, 2019) Despite coming up a few goals short of capturing a Bayside Conference championship on Monday in a back-and-forth battle with Kent Island, the Stephen Decatur girls’ lacrosse team played well as the group now eyes regional and state titles.

“The girls played with so much heart and drive,” Decatur Coach Sara Braniecki said. “They’ve come so far over the past month and grown as a team. I’m incredibly proud of them.”

When the Buccaneers would pull ahead, the Lady Seahawks answered to tie the score, but the team was never able to take the lead. Kent Island led 8-6 at halftime and won the match, 12-10.

“They certainly left it all out there on the field,” Braniecki said. “Are there things I want to work on after the game? Absolutely. A close loss to a great team gives us an opportunity to scrutinize parts of our game and work to make them better for a state playoff game.”

Junior Alyssa Romano led Decatur with four goals. Juniors Sarah Engle scored three, Elizabeth Dutton had two and Abby Yesko netted one.

Junior goalie Isy Kristick stopped six Kent Island shots.

The Seahawks were back on their practice field the next day, and the days after, to prepare for the postseason.

“I know the girls will focus and work hard and improve in those practices. That’s just the kind of athletes they are,” Braniecki said Tuesday afternoon.

Decatur finished the regular season with a 7-5 record. The Seahawks received the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in Section II of the 3A East Region bracket.

The Berlin squad will host the fourth-seeded James M. Bennett Clippers today, Friday, at 5:30 p.m.

When the two teams met in Berlin on May 1, Decatur won 8-6.

“They’re playing well. We are still having lapses of reverting to our ‘old ways’ of frantic play and forcing the ball on options that aren’t there,” Braniecki said. “To be successful, we need to completely cut out that frantic play and increase our composure when we have the ball, increasing our possession time.

“Defensively, we’re going to work on tightening things up,” she continued. “We need to collapse hard on drives and we need to let fewer feeds into the middle.”

Braniecki is confident the girls will make the adjustments needed.

“These girls are a strong team and a family,” she said. “If they continue to support each other they can do anything out there.”

The second-seeded Chesapeake Cougars and third-seeded North East Eagles, both of Anne Arundel, will also go head-to-head today.

The winner will face either Decatur or Bennett on Monday.

They’re incredibly talented,” Braniecki said of the Seahawks. “I think during playoffs they will go out there each game and put it all together.”

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