When the Stephen Decatur girls soccer team flies around the field, it seems that there is two No. 13s.
Corners, free kicks, defensive stops or attacking flow, senior captain Lexi McDonough is everywhere.
There is never a concern with McDonough’s positioning, head coach Maggie Berke said. It’s because of McDonough’s soccer intelligence.
“I don’t have any concerns when she is taking a corner that she’s not going to know where to go after,” Berke said. “Or if she takes a free kick out wide that she’s not to know to get back into the middle.”
McDonough has played on varsity since she was a freshman.
She’s been a defender, center midfielder and now is the stopper on the Seahawks’ squad, which is basically a defensive midfielder that sits right in front of the three defenders.
McDonough has always taken the position changes in stride and as a compliment of her all-around technical ability.
Last season, Ally Beck was the stopper and McDonough played center mid by herself.
“That’s when she really started to shine,” Berke said.
But now Christina Romano is the lone midfielder and McDonough is the stopper.
“It was easier for me to move up and play center mid when I knew I have someone like that behind me,” McDonough said.
So the senior is trying to do the same for Romano now. It’s a different dynamic but whatever the team needs, she said.
McDonough doesn’t have the speed Beck did, but that’s where her IQ makes up the difference.
I have to play a lot smarter because it’s not like I can chase down people like she could,” McDonough said. “I was ready to play that position when (Berke) needed me.”
With just a nod, Romano said she knows where McDonough will go.
“You definitely have to have a good field sense,” Romano said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see where she is. I have to be looking where she is and it took awhile to get that communication together.”
The two’s relationship will continue to blossom as the Seahawks have started 2-1 with a big Bayside South matchup against Parkside on Friday.
McDonough attributes her ability to play all over the field to her years of playing soccer.
She started at age 3, and at age 9 played with the Aces travel team coached by James M. Bennett girls head coach Ed O’Leary.
“He really just — I knew what to do with soccer and everything but he really took me to the next level,” McDonough said.
Along with coaching from her father, it has made her into the player she is as a senior.
Snow Hill head coach Jim Mattingly said he has been watching her for four years. She can do it all and has a little bite to her defense for being a smaller girl, he said.
The attitude, the ability and years of experience have led McDonough to being an all-around leader too.
She’s personable, Romano said, which helps when she tells the player what to do.
“She does everything,” Romano said.
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