BERLIN- It’s not unusual for Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team to send players to the next level in college, but this year’s team that reached the state semifinals last year is sending five.
Last year’s Decatur girls’ varsity lacrosse team won the regional title and advanced to the state semifinals for the fifth time in six years. The deep and talented team had standout players all over the field and a handful of seniors this year have already committed to playing lacrosse at the collegiate level next year.
During a special ceremony at Decatur on Wednesday, a total of seven Seahawks committed to competing next year in college at various levels including five members of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team. Principal Tom Sites said each of the student-athletes that signed national letters of intent this week represented everything expected from a varsity athlete at Decatur.
“Each of these students is a fine representative of what we expect of our student-athletes,” he said. “They are leaders at our school on the field and in the classroom.”
Senior Sarah Engle is heading to Division I powerhouse Loyola of Maryland in Baltimore next year. Decatur Coach Sara Braniecki said on Wednesday Engle has been a standout for the Seahawks.
“Sarah was injured as a ninth-grader, but bounced right back as a sophomore and became our MVP, Player of the Year in our conference and an All-American,” she said. “Her work ethic and compassion for her teammates has never wavered.”
Senior Abby Yesko has signed to attend school and play Division I lacrosse next year at Youngstown State in Ohio. Braniecki said Yesko is a selfless player who has stepped in wherever needed during her career.
“She plays everywhere on the field,” she said. “She is an amazing attacker, but converted to defense because that’s where her team needed her the most. With her lacrosse IQ, she really is our unsung hero.”
Senior Ellie Dutton is another four-year player at Decatur who has signed with Division I Winthrop University in South Carolina. Dutton, whose accomplishments are many as a Seahawk, might best be remembered for the dramatic goal she scored in the state regional championship last year.
“She’s a quick attacker with such great stickwork,” said. “Ellie scored the goal that put us ahead in the regional championship and that’s the kind of athlete she is. She put us on her back when we needed it the most.”
Alyssa Romano is a three-sport athlete at Decatur but her passion is for lacrosse. Romano this week signed a letter of intent to continue her career at Tampa University next year. Braniecki praised Romano for her relentlessness all over the field.
“She’s a relentless athlete that never gives you less than her absolute best,” she said. “Nothing will stop her when she has that mindset.”
Summer Vorsteg is another standout player for Decatur who will continue her career next year at Sheppard University in West Virginia.
“Summer is a great athlete and a versatile defender,” said Braniecki. “She has proven to be a great role model for her teammates.”