Chris MacMurray still keeps his team's inauspicious start to the 2012 season fresh in his memory bank.
The midfielder for the Hilton Head Island High School boys soccer team may not have much of a choice. After all, it can be difficult to erase the sting of what the Seahawks endured early on, as they stumbled out of the gate en route to an 0-3 record.
"I keep it in the back of my mind," he said. " ... In the back of our minds, we know we weren't where we were supposed to be at. But we're finally picking up stride and we're getting it done."
What MacMurray was referencing was his team's latest victory, a 2-0 win over North Gwinnett (Ga.) on Saturday morning. The Seahawks' most recent triumph marked their fifth straight win after the 0-fer they posted through the first three games of the season.
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"To their credit, they've gotten light years better from the first couple weeks of the season to where they are now," coach Wayne Quinlan said.
It was MacMurray who was at the center of this latest victory, as the junior's goal in the 46th minute broke a scoreless tie with the Bulldogs (7-7-1).
"The ball just popped out to me on the left wing," he said. "In practice, all the time we work on 1-versus-1. I did what coach told me. I took him on, I got a little yardage space and hit it."
North Gwinnett had hung with the Seahawks until that point, as the Bulldogs outshot Hilton Head High 4-1 before intermission but were forced to settle for the halftime stalemate.
"I thought we were lucky it was 0-0 at halftime," Quinlan said. "They did a really good job of knocking the ball around. We were losing the battle in the middle part of the field."
Added Bulldogs coach Michael Wentzler: "We had some really solid opportunities that we definitely should have capitalized on. That's been the story of our season."
The Bulldogs took the field without the services of seven players -- which included four starters, with two of those being captains -- after Wentzler received noise complaints at the team's hotel Friday night. That lack of veteran leadership proved costly for North Gwinnett, which played without a pair of its best offensive threats. The Bulldogs were shut out for just the third time this season.
"It's frustrating," Wentzler said. "I'm not upset with the score. It gave a lot of guys a chance to step up and do well. They played really well, overall. It's just frustrating because a couple of the guys are goal scorers."
Chip Tremarelli added an insurance goal for the Seahawks in the waning minutes of the game, as the midfielder took a pass down the line from Ruben Romero and banked it into the corner of the net. That proved to be more than enough for Hilton Head High, which hasn't lost in nearly a month.
"We kind of had a rough start, but with our last five games we've done pretty well," Tremarelli said. "I think the rest of our season will be just like that, too."
The rest of the season starts with rival Bluffton, which the Seahawks will play host to Tuesday night. A win over the Bobcats would move Hilton Head High's Region 7-AAA record to 3-0 and keep them in the hunt for a region title.
"That's the only thing that matters now," Quinlan said. "Winning five games in a row doesn't mean anything. Were back into our region season. It's all about winning a region championship."
Hilton Head High 2, North Gwinnett 0
Goals -- Chris MacMurray (46th); Chip Tremarelli (73rd)