BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team took control early in its game with crosstown rival Worcester Prep on Wednesday, withstood a comeback attempt by the Mallards and ultimately cruised to the 15-8 win in the annual neighborhood clash.
Players from both teams are very familiar with each other from youth leagues and travel teams, making the annual meeting each season special. The series has gone back and forth over the years with neither team gaining much separation over each other, but in Thursday’s rivalry game, the Seahawks were clearly in control.
Decatur already led 4-1 about halfway through the first half and extended its lead to 5-2 with about 10 minutes left on a goal by Elizabeth Dutton. Darby Moore put Decatur ahead, 6-2, about a minute later. By halftime, the Seahawks had extended their lead to 8-3.
Worcester’s Myranda Beebe cut the Decatur lead to 9-4 just two minutes into the second half, and Abby Reynolds added another goal about three minutes later to cut the lead to 9-5. That was as close as the Mallards would get, however, as the Seahawks continued to score and maintain a comfortable margin.
Decatur led 13-7 late before another goal by Worcester cut the lead to 13-8 with about seven minutes remaining. The Seahawks continued to apply the pressure down the stretch and pulled away for the 15-8 win. For the Seahawks, it was at least the third straight win over Worcester.
The two teams play almost every year, creating a natural rivalry for the two schools just a couple miles apart. The private school Mallards play in a different conference then the Seahawks, so the game has little bearing on the standings or post-season positioning, but because most of the players grew up in the same youth programs and travel teams at different times of the year, they are very familiar with each other and the annual contest goes a long way in terms of bragging rights in the community for the next year.
Familiarity breeds contempt and that goes for the annual matchup between the Worcester and Decatur girls. They might play on the same travel teams or even be heading to the same colleges, or maybe the players hang out with each other on weekends, but when the whistle blows it’s all business between the lines and that showed again on Wednesday.
For Decatur, Wednesday’s win over Worcester avenged a heartbreaking loss to Cape Henlopen on Monday in the season opener. Wednesday’s game with Decatur was the first of the season for the Mallards.