Decatur Boys Edge Worcester in 3OT Classic

BERLIN- Wow is about the only word to describe Stephen Decatur’s varsity boys’ lacrosse team’s dramatic triple-overtime 8-7 win over cross-town rival Worcester Prep on Wednesday in a game that included amazing shots, great saves, big hits and even a heavy downpour in the first quarter.

It’s always special when the Seahawks and Mallards face off in lacrosse and the 2011 installment might have been the best ever. Ominous dark clouds gathered, as did a huge bi-partisan crowd as the two teams prepared to take the field after the girls’ overtime classic. The skies opened up with windblown rain for much of the first quarter, but the sudden storm did little to dampen the action on the field.

Decatur drew first blood on a goal by Curtis Snyder off a beautiful assist on the crease to stake the Seahawks to an early 1-0 lead. Jeff Evans scored for Decatur to give the Seahawks a 2-0 lead with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter, which is how the period would end. Early in the second quarter, Snyder took a great pass on the crease for a Decatur man-down, fast break goal and a 3-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the period.

Just 12 seconds later, Worcester’s Harrison Brennan won the ensuing face-off and ran right down the middle of the field to get the Mallards on the board and cut the lead to 3-1. Decatur’s Johnny Moore scored at the 8:22 mark in the second to extend the lead to 4-1, but Worcester’s Andrew Ternahan cranked a shot past the Seahawk keeper from the perimeter with 7:30 remaining in the second to cut the lead to 4-2.

Decatur’s Erik Geiser came around from behind the Worcester goal and bounced a hard shot past Mallard keeper Austin Gerachis with 1:56 remaining in the second quarter to push the lead back to 5-2, which is how the first half would end.

In the third quarter, Andrew Ternahan took an assist from his brother Alex Ternahan on the wing and fired it home to cut the Decatur lead to 5-3. About three minutes later, Alex Ternahan fired a low, hard shot past Decatur keeper Brooks Gilbert to cut the lead to 5-4 with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter.

In a key stretch of the third quarter, Worcester goalie Austin Gerachis was called for a penalty deep in his own end and had to leave the field. Worcester quickly rushed attackman Jake Emche into the goal to serve out Gerachis’ penalty as the Mallard coaches exhorted their defense to protect the out of position player. Decatur tried to seize the opportunity, first with a hard shot that hit a pipe, followed by another shot that sailed over the goal, and finally, a huge save by Emche to stop the threat.

With 1:23 left in the third, Alex Ternahah scored on a perfect shot from the crease to tie the game again at 5-5. Worcester took its first lead of the game just two minutes into the fourth quarter on a blistering shot into the upper left corner by Andrew Ternahan with 10:03 remaining. Decatur’s Johnny Moore came right back a little over a minute later to tie the game again at 6-6 with 8:51 remaining.

Geiser put Decatur back on top at 7-6 with goal with 6:36 remaining in the game. Worcester came right back with a goal on a beautiful shot from the wing into the upper left corner by Billy Tyler with 3:05 remaining to tie the game at 7-7. Worcester controlled the ball for much of the remainder of the game, but could not convert on several scoring opportunities and regulation ended in a 7-7 tie.

Both teams had opportunities in the first overtime period, but the score remained tied at 7-7. In the second overtime period, Worcester’s Brennan won the face-off and raced right down the middle but his shot was wide of the goal. Decatur got a great look at the goal late in the second overtime, but Gerachis made a huge save and the game went to triple overtime as nobody in the huge crowd was leaving despite the worsening weather.

Finally, in the third overtime, Decatur gained control of a loose ball and called timeout with 2:42 left. Johnny Moore raced down the right side, cut across the face of the Worcester goal and fired a shot into the corner for the dramatic 8-7 triple-overtime win.