High School Sports

Myrtle Beach defense shuts down Bluffton boys, 3-0

Perhaps Waldo should have tried hiding in Myrtle Beach High's soccer goal, because no one has been able to find the back of the Seahawks' net in weeks.

Myrtle Beach scored a 3-0 victory over visiting Bluffton High School in Thursday night's second round of the boys Class 3-A playoffs, ending the Bobcats' season.

It was the Seahawks' 20th win of the season and their sixth consecutive shutout, posted by senior goalkeeper David Griscom.

"Me and (my defensive teammates) get together and say it before every game - we can't lose if they don't score," said Griscom, who recorded his 480th consecutive minute without giving up a goal in Thursday's win. "It's our motto. It's a bit of cliche, but it's true."

The Seahawks' shutout streak was put to the test early against the Bobcats, who had a pair of breakaway opportunities spoiled by Griscom and the goal.

"We had a couple of close calls there at the first of the game, and I think we had a few bounce off the post," said Myrtle Beach coach Jason Himmelsbach. "But it's tough to get one past David. He's a four-year player with veteran experience, and that's the kind of player you want in the goal this time of year."

Griscom's early saves lit a fire under the Seahawks' offense, which responded with the game's first goal just five minutes into the match. Aristen Baku chili-dipped a shot over the head of Bluffton goalie Chris Sullivan and into the back of the net for the quick 1-0 advantage that proved to be the game-winner.

"When our offense gets a goal, I see that as a challenge to the defense," Griscom said. "They gave us the lead, so as long as we don't give up a goal we win."

It's hard to call a 1-0 edge a comfortable lead, but that's exactly what the Seahawks have come to expect. With a goal on the board, the team seemed to settle into its game and play with a confidence that comes from experience.

That confidence paid off in the 34th minute, when Ryan Arambula's corner kick found Mason Lewis, who booted it home for a 2-0 lead. Griscom made another diving save before halftime to send the Seahawks into the locker room with a two-goal advantage.

Myrtle Beach (20-1) continued to play lock-down defense in the second half and extended its lead to 3-0 in the 54th minute, when Ariel Ruiz took the ball down the baseline and stuck it in the back of the net for the game's final goal.

The No. 2-ranked Seahawks will take to the field Saturday in the third round.