4-gone conclusion: Hilton Head Island wins 4th straight 3-A girls soccer championship

Amanda Green's goal all Seahawks need in 1-0 win over Chapin

Special to the PacketMay 23, 2014 

LEXINGTON -- Ernie Suozzi isn't very big on jewelry. Working for 15 years as a goldsmith can do that to a man.

But his eyes still brighten when the topic of the three rings he's collected as Hilton Head Island High's girls soccer coach comes up.

"I like these rings," he said, smiling. "These are a little bit different."

Good thing, too. Because he's about to add a fourth one to the family.

The Seahawks captured yet another state championship Friday afternoon at River Bluff High School, extending their Class 3-A dominance to a fourth consecutive year by virtue of a 1-0 triumph over nearby Chapin High.

They did so thanks to two seniors on the roster, as twin sisters Ashley and Amanda Green teamed up for the match's only goal in the 48th minute. Ashley took off across midfield before spotting Amanda cutting across diagonally, who took the feed before slipping one into the left corner for the decisive score.

It was the second straight year the siblings teamed up for a championship showcase, as both sisters found the back of the net in last season's 3-2 win over Eastside.

"I knew she was going to make that run," Amanda said of her sister's assist. "So I made my diagonal run and I knew she was going to put it square. And that's what she did."

It was a frustrating finish for a Chapin team which had been successful in its containment of the sisters until then. The Eagles (18-6) marked the pair with their two defenders in Kate Herrington and Shelby Green while midfielders Kaylan Nelson and Shelby Waites screened balls from getting to the Seahawks standouts.

"We knew we had to contain the twins," Chapin coach Bob Taylor said. "I think we did, except once."

The strategy was effective until Suozzi switched from his defense-oriented first-half scheme to a more aggressive 3-5-2 look over the final 40 minutes. The move, while putting more pressure on the Hilton Head High (22-2) defenders, kept the Chapin midfielders on their heels as the Seahawks went on the attack.

"There was just so much pressure," Taylor said. "We got under so much attack."

The victory capped yet another impressive season for the Seahawks, who ran their postseason win streak to 20 consecutive games dating back to a 3-0 loss to South Aiken on May 17, 2010. But the latest win might have been the most surprising of the bunch, given the 12 seniors and eight starters Suozzi had to replace from last year's roster.

"Since day one I had high expectations for this team," Amanda Green said. "I knew we were going to go all the way. I just thought we had a lot of potential in the young players."

The twins proudly wore all three of their rings Friday before taking the field. Amanda said they plan to showcase the fourth one the first chance they get.

Suozzi, however, will quietly add his to the drawer where he stashes the rings for safekeeping. There they will wait until a fifth one joins the collection.

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