Boys Soccer Win Bayside’s, looking ahead to the playoffs


Meghan Bean

Senior captains Ryan McLaughlin, Dalton Bunting, and Gabe Geiser lead the team to a 3-1 win over Bennett

Stephen Wade, Staff Writer

“NA NA, NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYE!” A student section of about 20 Stephen Decatur High Schoolers chanted this repeatedly as the clock wound down in the final minutes of the Bayside South boys soccer championship game on Monday against Kent Island.

The Seahawks were victorious in a strong 5-1 win against the Buccaneers, the team that is responsible for Decatur’s only loss of the regular season. The Seahawks were out for revenge after their previous 4-1 loss, but Decatur got the last laugh claiming the Bayside title.

Beating Kent Island has proven to be no easy task for Decatur. Both the soccer team and the football team, who lost 31-14 to the Buccaneers, have struggled against the Maryland public school powerhouse. This was a big-time win for the boys’ soccer team.

Junior Brogan Eastlack wasted no time scoring two goals early in the first half giving Decatur an early 2-0 lead. The lead soon became 3-0 following a goal from Senior captain Ryan McLaughlin, a solid center back who has been leading the charge defensively for the Seahawks.

“I feel honored that my teammates chose me as one of the three captains to lead the team,” McLaughlin said. “I try to set examples on and off the field to help our team succeed and help them be the best.”

Freshman Elijah Isset added to lead extending it to 4-0 before Eastlack finished off the hat trick scoring his third goal of the game. Eastlack also tallied an assist on both McLaughlin’s and Isset’s goals, being involved every time the Seahawks scored and leading the team’s offense. Goalkeeper Nick Hernandez played great in goal with 8 saves and the only goal allowed coming from a penalty kick late in the second half, leading the team to a 5-1 win.

Throughout the game, the team’s Instagram page,, posted game updates to keep long-distance fans connected to the game without physically being there. Their account has also garnered support from fellow Decatur sports’ Instagram accounts, as well as teams from other schools.

Dalton Bunting, another senior captain, said his teammates were “ecstatic” to take down Kent Island.

“Losing to them in the regular season, and then getting revenge and beating them is a huge stepping stone towards starting our playoffs this Friday,” he said.

Senior captain Gabe Geiser said he’s proud of how his team has played this year, calling their level of play “unbelievable.”

“Everyone knew we were going to do big things this year,” Geiser said, “but no one knew we were going to be No. 1 in the state of Maryland for 3A.”

The team has been playing at the caliber necessary for a state title with a 11-1 record, undefeated when playing at home and when playing other teams in the Bayside South.

Geiser feels like the team is in a good spot to make a playoff run, saying, “the team’s feeling great, too, so I have good feeling we’re going to do well.”

Head Coach James Greenwood attributed the team’s success to growth and hard work from the first game of the regular season to the last.

“We definitely had some bumps in the road,” he said. “I mean, we used nine different lineups in 13 games. A couple were because of injuries and just tweaking our lineup to get it to where we want it now. Really hard work is what has been the key this year.”

When asked about the team’s chances to make a playoff run, Greenwood said, “if we played like we played on Monday night, it’s going to be hard to stop us. But we gotta keep the energy level up. We gotta keep that focus and be humble.”

Greenwood also said the part of this team of which he is most proud is its camaraderie, competitive spirit, and ability to compete as a team.

“At the end of the day when we’re on the field it’s about the team winning,” Greenwood said, “it’s about the team doing better and not just an individual, and I think that’s going to help us into the playoffs and hopefully to a state championship.”

The boys’ journey to a state title begins this Friday at home at Louis H. Taylor Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.