BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team reached the threshold of a possible Maryland Class 3A-2A regional title and a trip to the state’s Final Four this week with a dramatic 16-14 overtime win over Patuxent on the road in Southern Maryland on Wednesday.
The Seahawks, now 12-3 on the season, beat Bayside South rival Parkside, 14-12, on Monday to earn a date with Patuxent in the 3A-2A Region semifinals on Wednesday. Despite the geographic differences, Decatur was somewhat familiar with Patuxent, having beaten the Panthers, 14-3, last year in the regional semifinals.
Wednesday’s contest was obviously much closer, but the Seahawks emerged victorious, 16-14, in double overtime. Leigh Anne Flounlacker led Decatur with six goals, while Kristin Miller scored four and Elizabeth Anderson added two. Seahawk goalkeeper Kaitlin Hardt was outstanding in the net, recording a remarkable 24 saves.
With the win, Decatur captured the eastern sectional in the Class 3A-2A East region and will face the winner of the western sectional final between top-seeded Middletown and third-seeded Century in the East Regional final. For Decatur, reaching the regional final and beyond has been commonplace in recent years, but getting past it has been a roadblock. Last year, the Seahawks fell to North Harford, 12-9, in the region semifinals and in 200, Decatur lost to Annapolis, 7-5, in the region final.
To reach Wednesday’s region semifinal with Patuxent, Decatur had to first get past Bayside South rival Parkside in the second round of the state playoffs in the third meeting of the two teams this year. Decatur lost to Parkside, 14-13, back on March 3 before avenging that loss with a 15-13 win over the Rams on April 30.
On Monday, Parkside scored first to take an early 1-0 lead, but Decatur answered quickly with a goal by Lauren Holloway to tie it at 1-1. Parkside briefly took control of the game with a three-goal run to take a 4-1 lead, but the Seahawks came right back with seven straight goals to take an 8-4 lead.
In the second half, Parkside came back with a vengeance, tying the game at 8-8 with over 20 minutes left in the game. The Seahawks, however, scored three goals in the span of two minutes to retake control. Flounlacker started the run with a penalty shot and Miller scored minutes later on a fast break opportunity. Ashley Trice completed the three-goal run to extend the lead to 11-8.
Parkside made a last ditch effort to close the gap, but the Seahawks held on for the 14-12 win to advance. Decatur will play the winner of the Middletown versus Century game in the regional final this afternoon at 3 p.m. at Annapolis High.