BERLIN- The latest installment in the annual Stephen Decatur-Worcester Prep boys’ varsity lacrosse rivalry lived up to the hype with the Mallards edging the Seahawks, 5-4, in an overtime thriller in front of a big, somewhat hostile crowd, at Seahawk Stadium last Friday.
After the two teams played to a 4-4 tie through two knock-down, drag out periods of regulation, Worcester Prep’s Justin Butler scored a goal just minutes into the first overtime period to lift the Mallards to a 5-4 overtime win over their cross-town rivals. For Butler, the winning goal was his second of the day in an unusually low-scoring contests filled with big saves, big hits and staunch defense.
Butler scored the game-winning goal on an assist by Ryan McGuire, who earlier scored a goal in the game to give his team a brief lead. Also scoring for Worcester in the contest were Brad Harris and R.J. Smith, who later had to fill in at goalie when Worcester starter Peter Buas got hurt.
The heated contest was played at Seahawk Stadium in front of big bi-partisan crowd, many of whom raced across town after watching the Decatur girls top the Mallard girls, 7-4, in an earlier game over at Worcester Prep. If its true familiarity breed contempt, the expression only applies between the lines on the lacrosse field for Worcester and Decatur. From whistle to whistle, both team pounded on each other, but after the game, players on both teams shared handshakes and hugs and told war stories.
With Worcester playing in the ESIAC and Decatur playing in the Bayside Conference, there was little at stake in terms of standings or rankings. What was at stake, however, were bragging rights for the next year. The rivalry has produced some memorable games over the years. Decatur got their first win over Worcester in 2002 and the teams have swapped wins each year since.
Last year, Decatur came out on top with a 13-8 win over the Mallards. In 2007, it was Worcester beating the Seahawks, 8-7, in a classic game that featured a little bit of everything including rumbling thunder, a 30-minute lightning delay, great shots, big hits and, of course, lots of penalties.