High School Soccer

Beaufort High girls move on to Lower State soccer semifinals

Eagles shut out North Augusta, 2-0

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comMay 9, 2013 

This is about as well as the Beaufort High School girls soccer team can play, one of its captains said Wednesday.

And there is nothing flashy about the Eagles' run in the Class 4-A Lower State playoffs. At halftime of its second-round game with North Augusta, coach Terry Rawlins reminded his team to remain in position, stay organized and face few problems.

The Eagles remained in control throughout, defeating the Yellow Jackets, 2-0.

Beaufort High (10-9-2) will travel to Lexington on Friday for the Lower State semifinal, advancing past the second round for what those with the program believe is the first time.

"This is a new thing for us," said senior captain Claire Martin. "But we're hoping to keep calm and control of our situation, because normally the only team that beats us is ourselves. We get into our own minds. It's really important for us to stay focused and remember what we have to do, which is control the ball and keep calm and play like we know how to."

Martin helped set up the Eagles' second goal with a cross to Elise Dean, who sent a pass to the middle where Austen Stoddard delivered a successful header midway through the second half.

Dean, a junior, scored in the 18th minute with a left-footed shot from just inside the 18 that rifled between the left post and the North Augusta keeper.

"Her confidence level is so high," Rawlins said of his midfielder. "That's great for her. I told her 'If you take your time and strike the ball, there's very few goalkeepers who can stop it."

Rawlins, in his fifth season, has built the Eagles around their defense. And he has benefited from a versatile defender in junior Carmen Alvarez, a sweeper who sometimes makes runs the length of the field and has two goals on the season.

She also helps anchor the back of Beaufort High's 4-4-2 look, which didn't allow North Augusta much breathing room.

Yellow Jackets coach Matt Sawicz said the Eagles were the more physical team.

"They weren't a great matchup for us," he said. "We're a little bit small. We like to play quicker, and that was hard tonight."

Beaufort High thought it was headed to West Florence for the second round. But North Augusta, the fourth seed out of loaded Region 5, knocked off the top seed from Region 6 to earn a trip to Beaufort High.

Neither team knew much about the other, except for scores from one common opponent.

Martin said the Eagles were happy to avoid the bus trip -- with some players taking exams Wednesday -- and the physical fatigue that comes with it. Road-weary North Augusta took the brunt of a rested team on in its game.

"We played to our full potential tonight, which is nice," Martin said. "Especially in the playoffs."

Beaufort High 2, North Augusta 0

Goals: Elise Dean, Austen Stoddard

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