Decatur Girls Fall In Sectional Final

Decatur Girls Fall In Sectional Final
alexis mcdonough

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity soccer team lost a heartbreaker to Northeast on Tuesday in the state regional playoffs, falling to the Eagle’s, 2-1, after battling back to tie the game late.

The Seahawks were the top seed in the state 3A-East Section II bracket and earned a first-round bye. Northeast, however, was seeded fourth and had to beat fifth-seeded Chesapeake last week to advance to face Decatur. Tuesday’s game was intense from the start with both teams getting early scoring chances. With around five minutes remaining in the first half, Decatur had a great opportunity to get on the board, but a hard shot from the perimeter clanked off the crossbar and the game remained tied a 0-0 at the half.

Northeast came out aggressively at the start of the second half and put relentless pressure on the Decatur defensive end. With just under five minutes gone in the second half, the Eagle’s finally broke through on a hard shot from the perimeter to take a 1-0 lead. With darkness falling and the temperature dropping, it appeared Northeast’s single goal might be the difference, but the Seahawks did not roll over.

Trailing 1-0, Decatur turned up the intensity and put constant pressure on the Northeast goal throughout the second half. In a game played largely in the middle of the field, both teams made forays into their opponent’s defensive ends and there were numerous close calls and great saves by both goalkeepers, but the score remained 1-0 as the clock ticked relentlessly down.

For a long stretch, it seemed everything was going Northeast’s way, but Decatur mounted charge after late charge in an attempt to tie the game. Finally, with just under four minutes remaining, the Seahawks got a throw-in deep in the Eagle’s end of the field. Decatur’s Jillian Mitrecic found the ball in an unsettled situation in front of the Northeast goal and fired home a shot to tie the game at 1-1, touching off a brief celebration for the Seahawks.

The celebration was short-lived, however. With just over two minutes remaining, Northeast got a fast break down the right side and an Eagle player fired a beautiful shot from the right side that nestled into the upper left corner of the net to put Northeast ahead, 2-1. Decatur was not finished yet and mounted yet another late charge, but could not score the tying goal and the Eagles advanced with the dramatic 2-1 win.

Despite the disappointing loss, it was another successful season for the Decatur girls, who finished with a 10-3 record and at one point in the season won six straight games. The Seahawks challenged for the Bayside South title and were only eliminated in the season’s final week.