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The 2011 South Carolina Athletic Programs state soccer tournament at Sumter’s Patriot Park presented quite a challenge for two Lancaster County Recreation Commission youth soccer teams earlier this month.
The Lancaster County 10-under all-stars and the 12-under all-stars ventured to Sumter to defend their state titles.
The teams were each coming off successful Central District title defenses in defeating Fort Mill to earn a repeat trip to the elite state field.
What the Lancaster County teams accomplished was downright impressive.
When a team returns to seek to repeat in the state field, it’s that much tougher and it seems you have a giant target on your back. Beat them and the title is likely yours.
Still, each team finished in front of the pack.
The 10-under all-stars rolled to a 6-0 win over Orangeburg after downing Walhalla, 2-0.
The 12-under all-stars topped Walhalla in overtime to win the state. The U12 stars opened state play, rolling to a 5-1 win over tournament host Sumter before defeating Walhalla, 2-1, in the thriller.
“The players should be commended for their work ethic, positive attitude and team spirit,” said Lancaster County U12 stars coach Joel Patterson.
The 2011 state crown marked the third straight year the U12 stars captured the state championship.
The 10-under stars were also impressive in netting their second straight state crown.
The U10 stars, en route to the title, defeated three straight foes by a combined score of 15-0.
The Lancaster under-10 stars won the district title with a 7-0 victory over Fort Mill at the Springdale Recreation Complex and then defeated Orangeburg, 6-0, and then downed Walhalla, 2-0, in Sumter.
“We worked hard and came to fight,” said Lancaster County U-10 coach Andre Merritt. “We were great in defending our titles.”
Lancaster County came close to making it three for the day as the U-15 stars battled Walhalla before falling, 3-0.
The Lancaster U-15 stars opened play with a 3-2 win over Marion in the state semifinals before falling to Wahalla, 3-0.
It was a tough battle in the title round for the 15-under stars.
Overall, it was quite a day for the Lancaster County Recreation Commission all-stars.
Two state championships and a state runner-up is a banner day, especially with two teams defending state titles.
The young soccer stars again stood tall for Lancaster County. Our congratulations in impressively repeating the feat.