High School Sports

Beaufort clinches share of region title

It turns out that 13 just may be Claire Martin's lucky number.

The Beaufort High School junior forgot her normal No. 17 jersey at home and was forced to borrow a JV jersey, No. 13, for the Eagles' home game Thursday night with Summerville.

There was certainly no bad luck involved as Martin scored the go-ahead goal and assisted on another as Beaufort (9-9, 6-0) beat Summerville, 3-0, to clinch at least a share of the region 8-AAAA crown.

The game-winner came just less than 15 minutes in when Molly Murphy centered the ball to Martin, who blasted one into the back of the net.

"Molly left me the perfect ball," Martin said.

The goal may have been the game-winner, but Martin was as excited about her second-half assist. In a crowd, Martin left the ball for junior forward Allison Blake in the center of the field inside the top of the penalty box. Blake didn't disapoint, making the Eagles' third and final goal look easy.

"It feels good when you get the ball and then it goes where it's supposed to go," Martin said. "Allison is a finisher. And it's the teamwork that excites me the most."

The Eagles' second goal came late in the first half when sophomore Elise Dean centered the ball from the far left of the penalty box to to sophomore Dolores Bell, who sent it in the left side of the goal.

But Martin's first goal was all Beaufort would need thanks to a defensive effort that resulted in the overwhelming majority of the game being played on Summerville's end of the field. Senior goalkeeper Carson Moore was only needed for two saves all night.

"We have a solid defense," Beaufort coach Terry Rawlins said. "It's pretty much a permanent defense."

And it's a defense that hasn't allowed a goal in region play since the Eagles' first game with Ashley Ridge on March 29.

"We're very quietly doing what we need to do," Rawlins said. "The confidence is there riight now. Their team motto is 'we believe,' and right now, the sky is the limit."

Though the win only put Beaufort at .500 for the season with just two regular-season games remaining, Rawlins pointed out a purposely difficult early season schedule and said, "our record isn't indicative of the team we are."

"It was tough to lose games early," Martin said. "But coming back is a great feeling. Beaufort High shouldn't be overlooked."