The Philip Simmons girls’ soccer team showcased a superior talent advantage in Monday night’s Class AA state playoff, a 16-0 victory over Saluda.
The Iron Horses also showed good sportsmanship. Coach Jay Watterworth decided to play some of the game down two players to keep it more respectable.
“It was a challenge for them,” Watterworth said of the visitors who traveled to the Lowcountry for the first-round playoff game. “It was not meant to be disrespectful. We respected their effort.”
The Iron Horses, the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, upped their record to 11-3 with the first playoff victory in the school’s history.
“It’s pretty cool,” Watterworth said. “This is our second season and everyone was disappointed when our first season ended last year. So this is our first full season. I didn’t know what to expect. The girls have definitely been locked in.
“It’s awesome,” Watterworth added. “The players are excited. The parents are excited. The coaches are ecstatic. We’re one of the last eight in the playoffs. What more can you ask for?
Kylee Kellermann is becoming a super two-sport star after an impressive basketball season. She scored the first hat trick of her career to aid the Iron Horses.
“She’s one who really works out there,” Watterworth said. “She distributes the ball. She plays defense. And, she scores.”
Alexndra Ugan recorded a hat-trick, the fifth for her this season. She was just named to play in the North-South Game.
“She’s the first one to represent Philip Simmons in an all-star game,” Watterworth said. “It’s exciting.”
Philip Simmons will host the winner of the Andrew Jackson-Wade Hampton game on Thursday and could be on a collision course to play No. 1 seed St. Joseph’s in a state semifinal.
The team is young with only four seniors on the roster. Watterworth says it’s not unusual to have seven or eight freshmen and sophomores out on the pitch during a contest. He says there are some talented eighth-graders who could play next year.
PSHS Boys and BE Girls Soccer
Watterworth said he would be out at the stadium Tuesday night to watch the Philip Simmons boys’ soccer team host Greer Middle College.
In what might be the biggest story of the playoffs, it might not be who is in the playoffs. The big news is who’s out.
For the first time in 20 years, the Bishop England girls, who were ranked in the top 5 of Class AAA for most of the year, failed to qualify.
The Bishops dropped a pair of games to Oceanside Academy as the season wound down and needed Academic Magnet to lose to OCA. However, the Raptors topped OCA to take the second playoff spot in Region 8-AAA. The Bishops were outside looking in because the playoff field was cut from 32 to 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top-ranked Bishop England boys were scheduled to host Loris in a Class AAA playoff game Tuesday night. The Bishops have a state record 17 championships, but have not won a title since 2016.