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INDIAN LAND – The Indian Land Warriors “picked it up” and picked apart Mid-Carolina, 7-0 for a Class AA Upper State second-round playoff soccer win over the Rebels at IL’s Warrior Stadium on Friday, May 16.
Jordan Szustwal sparked the Warriors, 18-5, with three first-half goals for a 3-0 halftime lead. Szustwal tallied two goals on penalty kicks and added the other tally on an assist from Brandon Jacob.
“This is by far the best we’ve played and I thought we picked it up today,” IL coach Adam Cole said. “We had real good passes, good runs and we finished.”
The Warriors, up 3-0 at the break, continued to build their lead in the second half.
Garrett Gerdes, off an assist from Roscoe Lovejoy, gave IL a 4-0 lead. Lovejoy, off a Jacob assist, pushed the Warriors to a 5-0 lead.
Paul Huisenga stretched the IL lead to 6-0 as Lovejoy assisted him on the tally.
Abraham Moskowitz netted the Warriors’ final tally on an assist from Huisenga.
“We had a lot of people contribute today,” Cole said. “We need to continue with that type play.”
Senior keeper Jake Barton notched the shutout with three saves.
Indian Land advanced to the Upstate semifinals and faced Newberry, which improved to 15-3 with a 7-3 win over Crescent of Iva on Friday, May 16.
The IL vs. Newberry match winner on Saturday, May 17 advances to play the Andrew Jackson vs. Saluda match.
The Warriors opened the playoffs with a 5-2 win over Calhoun County on Tuesday, May 13 at IL’s Reservation.
Vols top Pendleton
The Andrew Jackson boys soccer team was scheduled to play at No. 2 seed Pendleton on Thursday, May 15.
When the Volunteers left Kershaw, it was wet and still raining, but the rain had stopped when AJ got to Pendleton, but not the Vols’ postseason hopes.
The field, despite the rain, was not very wet.
PHS took the early lead, but later in the first half, Zach Arioli got off a shot at goal that rebounded off the goal keeper to Jordan Mungo, who passed it back to Arioli and this time he put it in the goal. The first half ended in 1-1 tie.
With six minutes remaining, Arioli got what turned out to be the winning goal.
The assist to Arioli for his second goal was from Keenan Ebanks for a 2-1 AJ edge.
The AJ defense was once again stout as Vols’ keeper Ryan Burgess only had to make six saves behind a stout wall.
On Saturday, May 17, AJ played at Saluda, the No. 3 seed with a 17-1 record.
AJ, 11-10, opened the playoffs with a 4-0 home win over Region IV-AA foe Cheraw.
Zach Arioli tallied twice to pace the Vols. John Ware and McKenzie Denkins each scored for the winners.
Keenan Ebanks and Alex Knight each had an assist.
AJ keeper Ryan Burgess, in goal for 60 minutes, had five saves.
Jeremy Moseley, the AJ keeper for the final 20 minutes, had two saves.
Lady Warriors fall
The Indian Land High girls, the second-seeded team in the Class A-AA Upper State field, had their postseason hopes dashed by St. Joseph’s Catholic School of Greenville on Friday, May 16.
The Lady Warriors, who finished 16-6, saw a 1-0 second-half lead fade as the Lady Knights charged back to tally two goals for the 2-1 win.
The Lady Knights’ win moves them into the Class A-AA Upper State title match against either Christ Church, or Brashier Middle College.
IL’s Alexys Loveless gave the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead, but the Knights came right back and scored on a Melissa Zankman goal to tie the match.
Zankman scored in the final two minutes to give St. Joseph’s the narrow win over the Lady Warriors.
“Indian Land is the most physical team we play,” St. Joseph’s coach Elizabeth Williams said. “I was proud of our girls staying physical in the match.”
IL coach Mark Bonda said it was a tough loss.
“We knew this would be a tough match,” he said. “It was a great match and we played hard, but we just came up short tonight.
“This is our best season in 20 years of soccer,” Bonda said. “We had an outstanding season and we’re going to miss our 11 seniors.”
u Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157