BERLIN- Despite the cold, blustery conditions, Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity soccer team stayed hot this week, blanking visiting Bel Air, 3-0, in a second-round playoff game at home on Tuesday to advance to the state regional quarterfinals.
For a while on Tuesday, it was uncertain if there would be a game with driving rain and cold, windy conditions in the area through the morning. By mid-day, however, the sun poked through the clouds, although the winds certainly didn’t die down, and it was game on for the Seahawks and Bel Air, the 11-seed who upset North Harford in the first round.
Decatur left nothing to chance against Bel Air, scoring three times while pitching a shutout on the defensive end to pull away for the 3-0 win and advance to the regional quarterfinals. Bradley Janson stayed hot for the Seahawks, scoring two goals, while Taylor Blazer added the third. The defense was outstanding, led by keeper Leigh Ann Flounlacker, who recorded 14 saves.
To reach the second round, Decatur needed to beat a tough Centennial team last Friday in the opening round at home. Blazer got the Seahawks off to a fast start with a goal just over five minutes into the game with a hard shot into the upper corner in an unsettled situation in front of the Centennial goal.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Decatur for much of the first half before Centennial finally got on the board. A Centennial wing player launched a crossing pass in front of the Decatur net, which led to a shot that Flounlacker first saved, but the rebound trickled out of her reach and an Eagle player fired a shot past her to tie the game at 1-1 with a little over three minutes remaining in the first half.
That was how the first half would end, and it actually stayed tied at 1-1 for much of the second half before Decatur scored the go-ahead goal. Each team had opportunities in the second half, but it wasn’t until over 30 minutes had passed before the Seahawks got the decisive goal.
At the 11:10 mark in the game, Decatur launched a corner kick in front of the Centennial goal, and in the confusion in front of the net, Janson was able to punch a low shot past the Eagles’ keeper. The goal put Decatur ahead, 2-1, and although there was still a lot of time left in the game, Flounlacker and the Seahawk defense shut down the Eagles the rest of the way. The 2-1 win over Centennial propelled the Seahawks into the second round, where they cruised past Bel Air to advance to the region quarterfinals.
Third-seeded Decatur will hit the road tonight for a game against number-two seed Reservoir, which beat Meade, 4-0, in its second round game after receiving a first-round bye.