COLUMBIA — Constant pressure and ball control by Academic Magnet Raptors led the school to a 5-0 win over the Indian Land Warriors in the 2A state soccer championship at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
The Warriors, ranked fifth in the state in 2A, took on the No. 1 ranked Raptors out of North Charleston.
It was like old habit for Academic Magnet, which has been to the title game several times while in 1A. For the Warriors, it was the first time ever being in the title game. In fact the last time, a boys' team from Indian Land made it to a state championship game, Richard Nixon was in the White House. We accomplished a lot of goals this year, said Warriors head coach Adam Cole. We had a good year and a lot of kids stepped up. Besides today, I couldnt have asked for anything better. Our inexperience showed. We didnt capitalize on any openings we had.
Neither team was able to establish much control early on as they jockeyed for position, but the tide quickly started shifting to Academic Magnet.
With just under nine minutes into the match, the Raptors struck as junior Mack Koewler fed senior Davis Michaelsen for a header past Warriors keeper junior Trevor Hoxworth. After the goal, the Raptors started to control the ball more and kept Indian Land on defense.
The Warriors' defense did well in keeping the box crowded making it hard for Academic Magnet to find an opening.
With about 11 minutes left in the first half, Indian Land got a free kick after the Raptors' keeper came out of the box to stop the ball and thus got a yellow card. The Warriors failed to convert on the free kick attempt.
Right before the half, Raptors junior Matt Houle got an open breakaway down the left side of the field and took a shot from about 15 yards out to put Academic Magnet up 2-0.
Just moments later, Hoxworth would then go for another stop and collide with the goal post and had to be removed from the game for sophomore Jake Barton. Hoxworth would return in the second half about seven minutes into play with a bandage above his left eye.
Indian Land struggled much of the first half getting only three shots on goals off, while Academic Magnet continuously kept the Warriors keepers on their feet.
Academic Magnet played keep away for the majority of the second half, again controlling most of the possessions.
Indian Land's defense played better in the second half holding the Raptors off for part of the second half. With about 20 minutes left, Raptors junior Jonathan Glenn got a rebound off a shot that Hoxworth had initially saved, but then before he could get up, pushed the ball past him and into the goal.
Just 34 seconds after play resumed, Glenn caught Hoxworth out of position to score again.
With about 15 minutes left, the frustration got to Indian Land as senior Jonathan Rowe was ejected in the very physical game that saw the referees have to intervene on a couple occasions between the players. Indian Lands Chad Thomas was also ejected about two minutes later.
Despite the physical play, the Raptors kept moving the ball and didnt let up as they scored again with about 10 minutes left in the game to cap things off.
Academic Magnet 5, Indian Land 0
Indian Land 0 0 0 Academic Magnet 2 3 5
First half AM Davis Michaelsen 9:16, assist Mack Koewler AM Matt Houle 34:18, assist Nat Edwards
Second half AM Jonathan Glenn, 58:03 AM Glenn, 58:37 AM Houle 69:58, assist Zac Reineke
Shots on goal: Indian Land 5, Academic Magnet 15 Saves: Trevor Hoxworth 8, Jake Barton 2 (IL), Chris Abraham 3 (AM) Corner kicks: Indian Land 1, Academic Magnet 5 Records: Indian Land 21-5-0, Academic Magnet 22-2-0.