Hilton Head High girls soccer goalkeeper Sam Wammock has saved plenty for her teammates over the years. On Monday night, it was their turn to have her back.
The Seahawks tore through Brookland-Cayce in the Lower State final, winning 4-1 at Hilton Head to advance to a fifth straight Class 3-A championship match. That game will be held Friday at River Bluff High against either Dreher or Chapin.
Monday night’s victory carried some extra meaning, however, in the wake of Hilton Head Christian Academy tennis coach Eric Wammock’s fall and head injury Friday night. Hilton Head coach Ernie Suozzi said the two teams gathered on the field after the game and, along with fans in the stands, huddled in prayer. The team also scrawled Wammock’s initials on their socks and played their best game of the playoffs in dismantling the Bearcats.
“They were focused. We’ve got two things we’re playing for: Sam’s dad and states,” Suozzi said. “They came right out, boom over the top. Then again two minutes later.”
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The first goal came from Rebecca Johnston, followed moments later by another from Kyra Anderson. Becca Parent nodded home a header and McKenzie Poplin finished off the scoring for the Seahawks with a fourth. Suozzi said though they were outshot by B-C, Hilton Head played with a purpose and never felt much pressure on the defensive end.
“Not a lot of danger,” Suozzi said.
Backing it all up was Wammock, who returned to practice Saturday and played well again Monday night. Suozzi said the team is a tight-knit group, and the girls have all reached out to ask how they could help.
Wammock is currently listed in good condition at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, and was breathing on his own as early as Sunday. Wammock was injured when collapsed while playing a concert in Bluffton Friday night, his head hitting the concrete floor, according to a member of his band.
“As soon as that happened, every kid wanted to know what they could do,” Suozzi said.
They did what they’ve always done for the last five years: Won. Now they’ll have an opportunity to add to a growing legacy of soccer excellence.They’ll face a tough opponent in either Chapin or Dreher. Over the postseason, Dreher has outscored opponents 27-1. Chapin has yet to allow a goal while scoring 11 themselves. There’s plenty of confidence to go around for the Seahawks, though.
“The girls, they know they’re playing good,” Suozzi said.