Decatur Boys Stifle Mallards, 11-4

Decatur Boys Stifle Mallards, 11-4
shane moore

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team rode an efficient offense and a stifling defense on their way to a convincing 11-4 win over neighborhood rival Worcester Prep on Monday.

The two teams sparred early in Monday’s highly anticipated matchup at Decatur with neither gaining a distinct advantage. Nearly a full five minutes clicked down in the first quarter before Decatur’s Jake Lathroum got the Seahawks on the board with a goal off a nice move on the crease at the 7:12 mark. Decatur’s Shane Moore scored a fast-break goal with 3:21 remaining in the first to extend the Seahawks lead to 2-0.

With bragging rights on the line, the game was decidedly chippy with big hits that brought the bipartisan crowd to their feet. Wyatt Richins got the Mallards on the board with just over two minutes left in the first to cut the lead to 2-1. Lathroum scored for Decatur on a nice move from behind with just five seconds left in the first, which ended with the Seahawks leading 3-1.

Just one minute into the second, Worcester’s Sam Cantello dug out a ground ball in front of the Decatur goal and fired a scoop shot into the back of the net to cut the Seahawk lead to 3-2. About two minutes later, Decatur’s Steve Alther fired a hard bounce shot from the perimeter to push the Seahawk lead back to two goals at 4-2. Moore than found Corey Gwin with a beautiful assist and Gwin finished to extend the lead to 5-2 with 7:33 remaining in the half.

Again, Worcester battled back with goal by Patrick Petrara, who got open on the crease and finished the play to cut the lead to 5-3 with 6:29 remaining in the second. Petrara scored again on a leaping goal from behind to the cut the lead to 5-4 with 2:23 remaining. With under a minute remaining in the half, Jackson Mumford found Evan Heim, who finished the play to extend the Decatur lead to 6-4 going into the half.

That was as close as Worcester would get. Decatur dominated time of possession in the third quarter and held the ball in its offensive end for nearly a full eight minutes. Worcester keeper Wade Walter was outstanding in the net during the stretch and kept the Mallards in the game, but Worcester had trouble clearing the ball against the swarming Seahawks.

Heim scored an extra man goal for Decatur with 2:23 left in the third, which turned out to be the only score by either team in the quarter. The Seahawks led 7-4 after three quarters, but could have had a bigger lead. Decatur hit two pipes during the decisive stretch in the third, while the Mallards had only two offensive possessions during the period.

Early in the fourth, Gwin fired a top shelf shot goal just under the cross bar to extend Decatur’s lead to 8-4. With the lead, Decatur was patient on offense and sharp passing led to more goals. In one sequence with about five minutes remaining, Lathroum passed to Moore who found an open Heim on the crease to extend the lead to 9-4.

With just under four minutes remaining in the game, Mumford scored on a leaping shot from the crease to push the lead to 10-4. Decatur scored its final goal of the game on a nice assist from Mumford to Gwin with just under two minutes remaining to close out the 11-4 win.

While the game was close for much of the first half, it was Decatur’s stifling defense earning a shutout in the second half to decide the issue. Will Hastings made several big saves and the Decatur long poles shut down the Mallard offense. Decatur also won most balls in the middle of the field with its tough ride and clear units. The faceoff battle between Worcester’s Ross Dickerson and Decatur’s Dryden Brous was essentially a push for the most part with both players earning their share.