Lions Come Up Short In Bayside Final
Seahawks defend conference championship; Folker paces Queen Anne’s attack with four goals
Decatur 9 — Queen Anne’s 7
CENTREVILLE — Lexie VanKirk scored on a free possession attack with 35 seconds remaining as Stephen Decatur High’s girls’ lacrosse team earned its second straight victory over Queen Anne’s County in the Bayside Conference championship game, Tuesday at Lions Stadium.
VanKirk attacked from the top of the scoring area and sent a left-handed shot into the left side of the net, past Lions goalie Emily Karbaum, to break a 7-7 tie.
VanKirk had been fouled while attacking from the left side of the field to earn the free possession. Her teammate Claire Porter added a goal with 12 seconds remaining as the Seahawks defended their conference title with a 9-7 victory.
“Honestly, the plan was kind of to be smart,” Seahawks head coach Sara Braniecki said about the final minute’s action. “They’re going to read the situation. They’re going to do what they need to do.”
Queen Anne’s, which never led, trailed 4-1 with 10 minutes left in the first half before battling back, and tied the game three times in the second half at 4-4, 6-6, and 7-7.
The Lions dominated the second half. The difference was Seahawks junior goalie Rachel Flovek, who has already made a verbal commitment to play for Division I Towson University. She finished the game with 17 saves.
“Huge saves. Composed. It’s her passion, showing out on the field,” Braniecki said of her goalie. “She was smart. She held the ball when we needed to hold the ball. She made the saves when we needed her to make big saves.”
“A couple of their crease rolls, they tried to go high and dump it over me,” said Flovek, “but I feel like my height gives me an advantage with them trying to dump it over because I can just go straight up.”
While Flovek shined at goalie, VanKirk led the Seahawks at the other end. She scored a game-high five goals. Porter finished with three goals and Victoria Kerkovich netted one.
With the win, Decatur improved to 12-1 overall. Abby Folker led the North Bayside champion Lions (8-5) with four goals. Mckenna Blick, Emma Feaga and Madison Ascione each scored once.
Karbaum was credited with two saves for the Lions.
Porter scored on an attack started from behind the crease for a 1-0 Seahawks lead 1 minute, 40 seconds into the game. Two minutes later, Folker countered on a rush from 20 yards out with a right-hander, low to the left side of the net, to tie the game at 1-1.
With 19:25 left in the first half, VanKirk pumped in a left-hander on a free-possession attack, low to the left, for a 2-1 Decatur lead.
Kerkovich scored her goal on a fast break off an assist from Logan Townsend with 14:42 left in the first half before VanKirk crossed in front of the crease and slung in a left-hander with 10:04 left to make it 4-1.
The Lions regrouped after a timeout and dominated the rest of the game, but struggled getting the ball past Flovek. Feaga scored off an assist from Taylor Sheppard and Folker tallied on a free-possession play off a pass from Blick to cut the Seahawks’ lead to 4-3. Folker spun inside the goal area and fired in a shot just before hitting the ground to tie the game at 4-4 with 57 seconds left in the half.
But VanKirk regained momentum for Decatur 28 seconds later with a right-handed sidearm shot for a 5-4 lead at the half.
After another VanKirk goal with 15:26 left in the second half, Folker and Ascione scored in a span of 19 seconds to tie the game at 6-6.
Porter put the Seahawks back up 7-6 off a feed from VanKirk with 8:49 to play. Blick tied it for the final time, 7-7, with 5:05 left, scoring off a rebound after a save by Flovek.
“Great goalie play from Decatur,” Queen Anne’s head coach Penelope Santos Bates said. “I counted 26 shots. That’s the name of the game right there.”
Queen Anne’s next will face North Caroline on Thursday in the 2A/1A East Section II semifinals. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Anne’s County High’s Madison Ascione (15) takes a shot in the first half defended by Stephen Decatur’s Christina Romano in the Bayside Conference championship game Tuesday evening at Lions Stadium.