Beaufort High School boys soccer coach Stephen Aldred believes his team's home game Thursday with Lexington was decided before the 6 p.m. start.
The Wildcats eliminated Aldred's Eagles from the Class 4-A Lower State playoffs, winning the second-round game 4-1 to advance to Saturday's Lower State semifinal at South Aiken.
Beaufort High wasn't on Lexington's level, Aldred said, and he thinks it won't be until the area cultivates its talent throughout the year, like Columbia and Charleston-area schools do.
"We were second-best in everything, every department -- defense, middle and attack," said Aldred, whose team finished 13-9. "And Lexington just played better soccer. They were a yard quicker than us."
Aldred works with young players through his Grassroots Soccer program, 6 years old through junior varsity age. He said he is starting to see results, but that it would take time.
That was Aldred's larger takeaway from 40 minutes the Wildcats mostly controlled.
Lexington coach Will Gettys' knowledge of Beaufort High was only that the Eagles had given his team a tough match in the playoffs two years ago. He wanted the Wildcats to attack Thursday, play a high-pressure game and force turnovers in the back.
"We just wanted to work on finishing," Gettys said. "We've had a lot of opportunities to score the last few games and not been able to."
Adam Yonge scored twice for Lexington, the first a header off a corner kick and the second from cleaning up a Wildcats' free kick from midfield.
Bryson Tindal scored a first-half goal after getting free on the right side, and Brett Smith tacked on some insurance in the 61st minute, bending a free kick to the back post.
Lexington improved to 14-9-1. The Wildcats lost to their next opponent, South Aiken, twice during the regular season, by scores of 2-1 and 4-1.
David Seguine scored the lone goal for the Eagles during second-half stoppage time before leaving with an injured ankle.
Beaufort High defender James Cato played Thursday after injuring his ankle during the opening round. And midfielder Brandon Videtto worked through a hamstring injury to get in the lineup.
Lexington 4, Beaufort High 1
Goals: Lexington-- Adam Yonge 2, Bryson Tindal, Brett Smith. Beaufort High-- David Seguine.