BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team’s season, and an 11-year run by Coach Jason Macrides, came to an end on Monday with a tough 7-5, loss on the road to Bayside Conference champion and undefeated Kent Island in the second round of the state 3A-2A East region tournament.
The Seahawks got to the second round and a match-up with Kent Island by beating archrival Parkside, 11-6, last Saturday in the third game of the season trilogy. The teams split two regular season games and tied for the Bayside South title before the Rams won a coin toss to decide who went to the conference championship game.
In the first round of the region tournament last Saturday, Parkside led 1-0 early before the Seahawks got the offense rolling. Decatur scored three goals on tallies by Johnny Moore, Riley McCabe and Erik Geiser to lead 3-1 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Decatur’s Brandon Terlizzi scored two goals to extend the Seahawks’ lead to 5-1, but Parkside got two back before the end of the first half, which ended with Decatur leading, 5-3.
The Seahawks increased their lead to 7-3 early in the third on goals by McCabe and Terlizzi. Both teams swapped goals later in the third with Geiser scoring to make it 8-4 with one quarter to go. After a goal by Geiser extended the lead to 9-4, Parkside made a brief comeback attempt with two goals to cut the lead to 9-6 with a lot of time left.
That was as close as the Rams would get, however, as goals by Brendan Wagner and Curtis Snyder rounded out the scoring and gave the Seahawks an 11-6 win. The win advanced Decatur to the second round and a date with Bayside champion Kent Island, which finished the regular season at 14-0.
Decatur got out to an early lead against Kent Island and led, 3-2, at the half in a low-scoring game. Decatur was methodical on offense and employed its stingy zone defense in an effort to slow down the high-powered Buccaneer offense, and for the better part of three quarters, the strategy worked perfectly.
Decatur extended its lead to 4-2 early in the third quarter on a fluke goal that appeared to be more of a pass in the heavy traffic in front of Kent Island goal. E.J. Gwin passed the ball inside from the perimeter, and the Kent Island keeper and defense made the appropriate slides, but the ball sailed past the Buccaneer goalie untouched to give the Seahawks a 4-2 lead.
Instead of crumbling after the fluke goal, the Buccaneers rallied for five straight scores, including three in a two-minute span, to take control of the game. Kent Island scored an extra man goal with 7:34 remaining in the third to cut the lead to 4-3 and tied the game 12 seconds later. The Buccaneers scored on a laser from the perimeter with 5:32 left in the third to take a 5-4 lead.
Kent Island scored again to take a 6-4 lead at the end of the third and scored two minutes into the fourth to make it 7-4. Gwin scored for Decatur with just under two minutes remaining to cut the lead to 7-5, but Kent Island held on for the win to advance to the region championship game.
For Decatur, the loss ended another highly successful season with a talented group of young players gaining valuable experience for the future. That future will not include Macrides, however, who is stepping down to take an administrative position at Delmar after an 11-year run at Decatur. During Macrides’ run, the Seahawks improved vastly and made several deep runs in the state tournaments over the years.