Lady Sharks’ surprising run halted in Lower State Final

sjgsoc-lastgameThe St. James High girls soccer team’s playoff run came to an close in the Class 3A Lower State Final on Monday night, but Lady Sharks’ season lasted much longer than expected.

After finishing second in Region 7-3A with a young but up-and-coming team, St. James started putting all the pieces of the puzzle together in the postseason, winning their first three playoff games in shutout fashion by a combined score of 14-0.

But St. James finally met its match in three-time defending state champion and host Hilton Head, which captured a 4-1 win over the Lady Sharks to advance to the Class 3A state championship. The Lady Seahawks will face the winner of Eastside and Chapin for their fourth state title on Saturday.

After St. James held the high-scoring Hilton Head in check for the opening 20 minutes, the Lady Seahawks broke through for goals in the 23rd and 37th minutes of the half. They opened the second half with two goals in the first 10 minutes to put the game away.

The Lady Sharks’ lone goal came from freshman Haley Brandon after being moved from the midfield to the forward position with 7 minutes left. The late goal was perhaps a harbinger of even better days in the future for St. James, which loses only three seniors off this year’s squad.

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