High School Sports

Beaufort High boys use corner kicks to top Fort Dorchester

Andrew Settlemire remembers the exchange for its directness.

Playing for a travel soccer team in Charleston, Settlemire was locked down by the opposing team. A coach told him to play to his strength, that he had the ability to get up and over the defense and would be useless during the match other than for headers.

Settlemire, a Beaufort High senior forward, has played to the strength for years. But it needed polishing after last week, when Beaufort High failed to convert any set pieces during a win over Summerville in penalty kicks.

Beaufort High, facing one of its most important regular-season matches, needed to convert Tuesday. And so the Eagles spent an hour Monday during practice working on corner kicks, 30 attempts from each side.

The work shone through Tuesday at home against Fort Dorchester, a team ranked at No. 6 in Class 4-A -- a spot behind Beaufort High -- and a stiff Region 8-AAAA opponent. Beaufort High closed strong to win 5-2 and remain undefeated in region play.

During the second half, Settlemire converted two key headers off corner kicks, the first an equalizer and the second the go-ahead goal. Freshman Hector Garcia-Lopez assisted both goals.

"Those have been key plays for three years," said Settlemire, who completed his hat trick with a goal off a run during stoppage time. "We've always had height."

Beaufort High (10-2-2, 3-0 Region 8-AAAA) remains the only team in its region without a loss. Fort Dorchester was dealt its second region loss.

"Thank you so much," Beaufort High coach Gabriel Nieves told his team. "You showed me everything tonight."

He then reminded them of the road ahead. The Eagles have much of their region schedule remaining. However, after Tuesday's win, they are in control. Another meeting with Summerville waits before the month is done.

"It's all up to us right now," said forward Christian Faale. "We've got it in our own hands."

Faale scored Beaufort High's other two goals. Off a first-half assist from Settlemire, he delivered a strike just under the crossbar.

The match remained tied at 1 into the half. The Patriots grabbed momentum with a goal in the first minute of the second half, before Nieves had even turned from his bench.

The Eagles seized control, taking advantage of openings left by an aggressive Fort Dorchester attack. Faale's second goal came late in the second half, after a nifty move to free up a blast from just inside the left corner of the 18.

The game wasn't without its setbacks. Ethan Konoza aggravated an ankle injury and left the game. When Settlemire trudged off the field after the win, he sported ice packs on his right ankle and left knee.

Settlemire missed a match the previous week because of the sprain but said the knee was just tweaked and the ankle would be fine.

"It's going to be a long way to go," Nieves said. "But I'm proud of my team."

Beaufort High 5, Fort Dorchester 2

Goals: Fort Dorchester-- Wes Eads (2). Beaufort High-- Andrew Settlemire (3), Christian Faale (2).

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