An early goal had the Beaufort Academy girls soccer team thinking of back-to-back state titles, but Lowcountry Prep had other thoughts in mind Saturday.
The Pawleys Island school scored twice in the first half and added another goal in stoppage time of the second to take a 3-1 victory in the SCISAA Class 2-A/1-A championship match at Porter-Gaud in Charleston.
"Ultimately, we just had a hard time controlling the midfield today," Beaufort Academy coach David Byrne said. "The girls played their hearts out -- especially in the second half."
The Eagles (13-2) found the net first, scoring 15 minutes into the game. Junior Madeline Griffith nearly scored on a direct kick from 20 yards out, but sophomore A.C. Crowther was there to put it in on the scramble.
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Lowcountry Prep tied it up with about 20 minutes left in the half and then took the lead for good 10 minutes before halftime.
"They outshot us big time in the first half," Byrne said.
Beaufort Academy went on the attack in the second half in an attempt to pull even, but was never able to do so. Lowcountry Prep tacked on an insurance goal in the closing moments.
Byrne credited his goalkeeper with helping to keep the Eagles close most of the way.
"Charlotte Delfosse was outstanding for us," Byrne said. "She came up big for us, at least five times, to keep us in it."
The Eagles were at a disadvantage in the title match, playing without key players Niki Ozburn and Miranda Weslake. Ozburn, the team's right wing, was out with an injury. Weslake, the top goal-scorer, had committed to play for her club team this weekend.
While disappointed to lose, Byrne and the Eagles are optimistic about the future, as they only have two seniors on the roster.
"We only lose one starter, which is an exciting position to be in," he said.