Worcester Girls Edge Decatur, 12-11

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BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team edged Decatur, 12-11, last Saturday during their own invitational tournament, ending a losing streak against their cross-town rivals dating back at least four years.

The Mallards won their holiday invitational tournament last Saturday, beating Manchester Valley of Carroll County, 13-9, in the championship game, but the matinee proved to be much more compelling than the main feature. Worcester’s win in the tournament final was more or less an afterthought after a knock down, drag out battle against Decatur in the opening round.

The Mallards hosted the four-team tournament last Saturday that also included Decatur, Manchester Valley and Centennial. Worcester and Decatur played in the opening round to ensure the two neighborhood rivals would face each other and, as usual, the annual grudge match did not disappoint. Much of the huge crowd on hand for the boys’ and girls’ combined tournament on a picture perfect Easter Saturday trickled over to the girls’ game, which turned out to be the most compelling contest of the day.

The game went back and forth all morning with neither team getting much separation from the other. In the end, Worcester edged Decatur, 12-11, in the closest contest in recent years, ending a three-year run by the Seahawks. Molly Dickerson and Mary Hudson led the Mallards’ offense with three goals each, while Skylar Seigfried had a strong game in the nets, recording eight saves.

For years, Worcester Prep, which had a long established lacrosse program well before Decatur, dominated the series between the local rivals. Until as recently as 2002, Decatur had just a club level lacrosse team and was not an officially recognized sport at the school. However, the Seahawks have caught up to and even surpassed the Mallards in some respects in recent years.

Worcester’s win over Decatur last Saturday was the first over its cross-town rival in at least four years. Last year, the Seahawks got the best of the Mallards, 7-4, and in 2008, it was Decatur again edging Worcester, 6-4. The Seahawks crushed Worcester, 16-2, in 2006 and again by a score of 16-4 in 2007. In each of those two seasons, the Decatur girls advanced to the state Final Four.

With Worcester playing in the ESIAC and Decatur playing in the Bayside Conference, the annual game means little in terms of standings or records. What is at stake, however, are bragging rights for the next year. Most of the players on both teams grew up playing with and against each other on various youth programs in the area and many compete together on winter league teams and club teams.

The Mallards followed up the two wins in their invitational tournament over Decatur and Manchester Valley last Saturday by beating Holy Child from the Washington, D.C. area at home on Tuesday, 15-11. The Worcester girls will hit the road for three straight against Easton, Saints Peter and Paul and Tower Hill before their next home game on April 19.

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