Bensch sisters key Hilton Head Christian to SCISAA playoff soccer win over Ben Lippen

ksalter@islandpacket.comMay 7, 2014 

Faced with a win-or-go-home game, the favored Hilton Head Christian girls soccer team turned to its prolific sister act to see them through.

The Eagles ruthlessly dispatched opponents Ben Lippen 9-0 in the first round of the SCISAA Class 3-A playoffs Tuesday on Hilton Head Island, with most of the offensive production coming from sisters Abigail and Audrey Bensch.

The pair combined for four of the team's goals.

"They kind of have that innate knowledge of where the other one is," Eagles head coach Ben Gerdts said. "They're very selfless, they're very talented too."

It was over and done quickly, the favored Eagles going three goals to the good in under 15 minutes. The home side monopolized possession of the ball and made it count inside five minutes. Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Gillis struck first, placing a low shot just past the reach of Ben Lippen keeper Grace Yunana.

The Eagles wove together a stirring encore, smooth passing eventually unlocking an over-matched Falcons defense. Sophomore forward Abigail Bensch was waiting at the end of the sequence, free in the middle of the box to pass the ball into the open net.

"It felt really good -- I could definitely sense the team up wanting to score more and more," Abigail Bensch said.

The next tally may have been the pick of the lot. Abigail Bensch broke free once again and made it three times a charm with a deft chip over the waiting keeper. The game was essentially put away before the bug spray had begun to dry on most of the few dozen applauding spectators. Not to be outdone by her younger sister, senior forward Audrey Bensch added to the first-half tally with a goal of her own five minutes to halftime.

"We work pretty well together," Audrey Bensch said.

It was a dominant performance, and one Gerdts said his team needed.

"We've had tendencies in the past to be a little reticent early on," Gerdts said. "We were able to get that quick goal, and then we just kind of coasted from there."

The second half was more of the same. Audrey Bensch powered past a Falcons defender and finished another scoring opportunity, her second on the evening, with 36:32 remaining. Sophomore Alyssa Lane had two goals of her own and junior defender Stevie DeSimone added a stunning free kick from about 30 yards out, a worthy exclamation point on a dominating performance.

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