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The Lancaster High School girls soccer team has produced a landmark season on the pitch and the Lady Bruins hope to add more milestones as the state playoffs open this week.
The Lady Bruins, 15-6, 9-5 in region play, are ranked No. 15 in the latest Class AAAA girls state soccer poll.
The LHS girls will be at home to open the Class AAAA Upper State soccer playoffs on Monday, May 12 at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium where they face Riverside High from the Greenville area. Riverside, ranked 10th in Class AAAA girls, is 12-6, 9-4 in region play.
“We have had a great season and have exceeded most people’s expectations,” LHS girls soccer coach Ed Humphrey said. “This is the highest region seed we have had in the 10 years I have been involved with the soccer program. I don’t think we have ever been ranked this high in the region in soccer.
“I am very proud of our team this season. We have played some excellent soccer and made quite a few firsts. We swept Clover (first-ever wins over CHS), Nation Ford (first time sweep of NFHS), Rock Hill and York this season. Now we need to go get our first playoff victory.
“I hope we have a good turnout for the playoff match on Monday at the stadium,” Humphrey said.
LHS is lead by senior Frances Whitesides, a Presbyterian College signee and a selection to the eighth annual Clash of the Carolinas, the only interstate all-star prep soccer event of its kind nationally.
The Carolinas all-star match is Saturday, July 12 at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island.
The Lancaster High girls are one of six county teams in the soccer state playoffs which open Monday, May 12 for the girls teams and Tuesday, May 13 for the boys squads.
The Indian Land boys, the two-time Class AA state runners-up the last two seasons, are the No. 1 seed in the Class AA boys Upstate field.
Coach Adam Cole’s Warriors, 16-5, 6-0 in region play, host No. 16 seed Calhoun County on Tuesday, May 13 at 6 p.m.
The winner advances to face the Mid-Carolina vs. Landrum winner on Thursday, May 15.
The Andrew Jackson boys booters, the No. 7 seed in the Class AA Upper State bracket, host 8-5 Cheraw on Tuesday, May 13. The Vols are 9-10, including two wins – 2-1, 7-1 – over Region IV-AA foe Cheraw High School. The AJ vs. Cheraw winner will advance to play No. 2 seed Pendleton vs. No. 15 Fairfield Central of Winnsboro.
Buford, which fields a co-ed team and plays in the boys bracket, is seeded No. 13 and travels to No. 4 seed Newberry, 13-3, on Tuesday, May 13. BHS, 8-8, is coming off an 8-1 road win over Class AA foe Fairfield Central of Winnsboro on Thursday, May 8.
“We finished 8-8 on the regular season, but won our last five matches in a row to help our case, and played our best match of the season last night by far, so that’s encouraging as playoffs start. We scored 22 goals and allowed five in that streak. We gained experience for all the newcomers with hard work, and finally recovered from a rash of key injuries to help our cause,” Buford coach John Bundy said.
In the girls Class AA bracket, the Indian Land girls, who finished as the Class A-AA Upper State runner-up last spring, are seeded No. 2 with a 14-5 record.
The Lady Warriors host No. 15 seeded Columbia High School on Monday, May 12 in the opening round of the Class A-AA girls Upper State playoffs. The IL vs. Columbia winner plays the Southside Christian vs. Batesburg-Leesville winner Wednesday, May 14.
Andrew Jackson’s Lady Volunteers, the No. 6 seed with a 10-6 mark, host No. 11 Mid-Carolina High. The winner advances to face the St. Joseph’s of Greenville vs. Newberry winner on Wednesday, May 14.
On Wednesday night, May 7, Class AAAA Lugoff-Elgin visited Andrew Jackson High for a non-region soccer match.
The contest was a hard-fought defensive battle that went into overtime.
Early in the first OT, the Demons’ Patrick Sigman scored what was the only goal of the close match for a 1-0 L-E victory.
In the match’s first minute, Zach Arioli got by the Lugoff-Elgin defense, but his
shot at goal went just wide left. The Vols continued to get shots at goal throughout
the match, but were never to get one in the goal.
AJ had 15 shots to only nine for L-E. The Vols also had five corner kicks that failed to produce a goal.
The contest marked the final regular-season match for AJ seniors Keenan Ebanks, Jacob Ware and Aaron Cullen.
u Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157