(May 17, 2019) The Stephen Decatur boys’ lacrosse team fought to make a comeback last Friday after an early four-goal deficit, but the Seahawks fell one short of advancing to the next round of the regional tournament.
“It was another one where we were a second-half team,” Decatur Coach “Hoffy” Hoffman said. “The first half, we didn’t execute our game plan.”
The Chesapeake Cougars, seeded third in the 3A East Region Section II, netted four goals in the first quarter and held Decatur scoreless in Berlin. At halftime, Chesapeake led second-seeded Decatur, 5-2.
“We reinforced during halftime what we needed to do,” Hoffman said. “The second half was better. They got pumped up and we started making a comeback.”
After three quarters, Chesapeake held a 10-6 advantage.
The Seahawks started to chip away at the lead in the fourth quarter and got to within one, 11-10, but were unable to pull ahead.
“We got off to a slow start. All season we’ve been a second-half team,” Hoffman said. “We scored eight goals [out of 10] in the second half.”
Their fight in the second half “showed tenacity, heart and a never-quit attitude,” Hoffman said.
Senior captain Eric Gwin led Decatur with four goals and one assist. Senior captain Chase Porter scored three goals and had four assists.
Freshman Austin Airey tallied one goal and two assists. Senior Jack Remmell and sophomore Tiernan Weinstein netted one shot each.
Junior goalie Tony Scafone stopped five Chesapeake shots.
Decatur finished the season with an 11-4 record. Hoffman thought the season, his first as head coach, went well.
They boys responded well to the coaching staff changes, different plays added and a new system.
“They had a lot thrown at them. They drastically improved,” Hoffman said. “We set the bar really high and most, if not all of them, rose to the challenge. I can’t be any prouder of the kids. They bought into the system and were willing to do whatever it took to win. They’re a great group of kids.”
Hoffman said the team started to peak at the end of the season and the depth of the group increased.
“Their lax IQ jumped leaps and bounds,” he said.
Hoffman fully enjoyed his first season at the helm. The players were like little brothers to him, he said, and they all developed a bond.
“Everyone was focused on the same goal: to have a successful season,” Hoffman said.
The team will graduate 12 players, about half of them starters, but most main contributors.
Porter led the team this season with 38 goals and 21 assists. Gwin was second with 33 goals and 25 assists.
“We’ll have some big shoes to fill, but there’s guys waiting in the wings to fill those spots and I’m confident they can,” he said. “I’m sad to see the seniors go, but I’m excited for the future.”
Hoffman said the team would have talented athletes returning, as well as solid JV players and incoming freshman joining the mix.