BERLIN- After 50 minutes of knock down, drag out regulation, it took a fluke goal in overtime for Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team to prevail over host Stephen Decatur in overtime in another classic episode in the neighborhood rivalry.
The Seahawks and Mallards battled tooth and nail for two halves of regulation in the latest installment of the backyard brawl, only to see it end with in a surprise. Worcester jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before Decatur got on the board on a goal by Jenna Kramer with 6:42 remaining in the first half to tie the score at 1-1.
Less than a minute later, it appeared Worcester’s Mary Clare Regan put the Mallards ahead, but the goal was waved off by a crease violation. With under two minutes left in the first half, Worcester’s Erin Cook scored on a nice assist from Regan to put the Mallards ahead, 2-1. Worcester’s Lillian DiNardo won the ensuing draw and ran straight down the middle of the field to score a goal to extend the Mallards’ lead to 3-1 as the first half expired.
Decatur’s Leigh Anne Flounlacker scored just two minutes into the second half to cut the Worcester lead to 3-2. About a minute and a half later, Decatur’s Kristen Miller tied the game at 3-3 with a goal at the 21:32 mark in the second half. With 16:03 remaining in the game, Decatur’s Eileen Hayman gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game with a beautiful shot in traffic.
With just under 12 minutes to play, Decatur’s Kaitlin Hardt made a great save on a shot by Regan, but Worcester’s Katelin Talbert picked up the rebound and fired a shot in the corner to tie the game at 4-4. Worcester keeper Skylar Siegfried made a great save on a direct penalty shot by Flounlacker with 10:06 remaining, but Flounlacker scored on a penalty shot about a minute later to stake Decatur to a 5-4 lead.
With 5:47 left in the game, Worcester’s Alex Bruder scored on a beautiful assist on the crease from Talbert to tie the game again at 5-5. Worcester had an opportunity to take the lead late in the game in its deliberate, half-field offense, but Hardt made a great save to turn the ball over. Decatur had no less than seven scoring opportunities on penalty shots with under two minutes to go, but each time, the Worcester defense and Siegfried held them in check. Flounlacker was fouled on six straight attempts at a penalty shot, but could not find a way to get the ball in the net.
Worcester got one last possession with time running down in regulation, but Hardt made an awesome save to send the game into overtime. Just two minutes into the first three-minute overtime, Worcester’s Meredith Smith attempted to pass the ball from behind the net over the Decatur goal. Hardt made a stab at intercepting the pass, but the ball trickled off her stick and into the goal to give Worcester a 6-5 lead. After a total of 53 minutes of regulation and overtime, the fluke goal proved to be the difference in the game and the Mallards escaped with the 6-5 win in overtime.