Bishop England girls soccer squad returns to playoff form

Last year marked the first time in ages, perhaps since the high school soccer stone ages, that the Bishop England girls’ soccer team did not make the playoffs.
 
So Bishop fans might have been forgiven for saying “oh no” when the 2022 team began the campaign with a 1-2-1 record.
 
But the Bishops were able to overcome the rumbles, sputters and backfires of that slow-to-start engine to become a smooth soccer machine. They completed the regular season with eight victories in their last 10 games to finish second in Region 8-AAA.
 
The Bishops had a chance to claim the region title, but dropped a 3-2 decision to rival Academic Magnet on May 2 at Ravenel Stadium. Isabella Demarco scored two goals against the Raptors, but it wasn’t enough as the Bishops’ six-match winning streak came to an end.
 
First-year coach Netha Kreamer remained positive about her team’s playoff chances despite the loss to the Raptors. The Bishops have won a remarkable 12 state championships in the sport with their last title coming in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 playoffs. Last year, the Bishops finished third in the region, but failed to make the playoffs as the High School League cut the playoff field from 32 to 16 because of the pandemic.
 
“We are playing well,” said Kreamer, who replaced longtime coach Dave Snyder in time for the 2022 season. “We are ready for the playoffs. The girls are ready. They are ready to take this to Columbia.”
 
There was plenty of drama in Region 8-AAA this spring, and a tie-breaker round was added to determine the seedings for playoffs, which commenced May 3. The extra round meant the Bishops played Magnet and OCA three times in the regular season.
 
Monday’s game against Academic Magnet wouldn’t have been possible if not for the dramatic victory over Oceanside Collegiate on April 28 that was decided on penalty kicks. The two squads played to a 2-2 draw, and the Bishops claimed victory by outscoring OCA 5-4 in the PK shootout. Oceanside Collegiate finished in third place in the region and began the playoffs on the road.
 
The Bishops were 2-1 against OCA this spring, winning two of the matches on penalty-kick shootouts. The Bishops were 1-2 against Academic Magnet.
 
DeMarco was the star against the Landsharks in regulation on April 28 with two goals on assists by Kristjana Deveau and Lauren Berrigan.
 
The Bishops were scheduled to open playoff action with a home game against Lakewood on May 3.
 
SOCCER PLAYOFFS
 
The Bishop England boys began Class AAA playoff action Monday night with a 2-0 road victory at Camden.
 
In Class AA, the Philip Simmons boys team received a first-round bye after winning the Region 6-AA championship and finishing the regular season with a 15-1 record. The Iron Horse boys will play the winner of the Greenville Tech-Barnwell game on May 4.
 
The Philip Simmons girls also received a first-round bye and was scheduled to play the winner of Brashier Middle-Newberry game at home on May 5.
 

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