The Hilton Head Island High School girls soccer team had a tougher time with its third-round playoff opponent than with its first two -- but not too tough.
The Seahawks rolled to a 5-1 win over St. James on Friday night in Murrells Inlet, moving on to Monday's Class 3-A Lower State championship game at Brookland-Cayce. The Bearcats advanced with a 7-0 win over Bluffton on Friday.
"This game was tough," Hilton Head High coach Ernie Suozzi said of the win at St. James. "They have a lot of good club players, they came out scrappy. We settled down and got into our possession game. We wore them down."
Five different players scored goals for Hilton Head High, the defending state champion. Ashley Green, Amanda Green, Kelsey Fitzhugh, Faith Lifer and Alex Vinson had the goals.
The defense kept goalie Lauryn Bush from seeing much action, as she made two saves. The Seahawks have outscored their first three playoff foes 22-1.
Hilton Head High (23-2) lost Bridgette Noonan to a knee injury from a collision, but Suozzi hopes that she'll be ready to play in the Lower State title match.
The Seahawks played Brookland-Cayce (21-4) earlier this season, winning a 3-0 game March 10 on the island. But Monday's game will be at Cayce, which has a narrow field.
"Playing at their field is a definite problem," Suozzi said. "They'll have the advantage there."
Brookland-Cayce 7, Bluffton 0: The Bobcats (12-12) bowed out of the Class 3-A playoffs with the third-round loss at Cayce.
The Bearcats (21-4) have outscored their three playoff opponents 29-0. They will host Hilton Head High on Monday in the Lower State championship game.
Thomas Heyward Academy 7, Holly Hill Academy 4: The defending state champions struggled a bit in the opening game of the SCISAA Class 2-A state tournament in Lexington, but pulled out the win.
Kayla Canavan led the attack for the Rebels, hitting a home run and a double to go with two RBIs. Ashlie Layman went 1 for 3 with three RBIs, and Chandler Cook and Caitlyn Cooler each were 2 for 3.
Layman pitched the complete game, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. She struck out seven.
"We were a little rusty. I think we were a little tense," Rebels coach Bob Layman said. "It was a slower-style pitcher, which we do struggle with. It took us awhile to adjust to her."
The Rebels (24-1) take on Williamsburg Academy at 9:30 a.m. today.
"I expect them to be extremely scrappy," Layman said. "They're a very fast team."