Top-ranked Academic Magnet avoided falling off its 2A girls soccer perch Thursday night with a 3-2 win over No. 2 Bishop England.
Staying on top is Anna Merriman's coaching philosophy. After the game, the Raptors coach huddled her players and told them what the program needs to accomplish to be called a "legacy team."
"A legacy team doesn't get rattled," she said. "A legacy team doesn't get taken out of their game. A legacy team doesn't leave anything on the field."
When the girls left the field, Merriman clarified the often repeated phrase. "That's what we want to be," she said. "I'm telling the girls that I don't want to be like an overnight phenom that lasts for a week and then fall off. I don't even want to last for a season and then fall off. I want to be a team that teams fear."
Academic Magnet has beaten its Daniel Island rival eight consecutive times. That includes being the grim reaper of the Bishops' state playoff hopes each of the past three seasons.
Bishop England enjoyed a 1-0 lead after Regan Van Metre found the back of the net in the 8th minute, started by a well-placed corner kick from Taylor Lott.
Thirteen minutes later, Raptors' Jesse Dooley scored after beating three defenders and lacing a shot over diving goalkeeper Julianne Dahlman.
"There was a lack of urgency in the first 10 minutes for us," Merriman said. "We were passing the ball beautifully, but we weren't looking to penetrate and get inside."
The Raptors controlled the time of possession for most of the game. Passing has been a point of emphasis for Academic Magnet this season, and through solid passing, the Raptors were able to tire out chasing Bishop England players.
Standout Callie Peurifoy scored twice in three minutes just before halftime to take a 3-1 lead.
"The prettiest part of our game was the last 20 minutes of the first half. We really pushed the issue after that got that first goal," Merriman said. "That woke us up a little bit."
The 3-1 advantage held for over 20 minutes, before Bishop England narrowed its deficit following a goal by MacKenzi Mazur. But, the Bishops could get no closer.
"I would've liked to put another goal in the second half," Merriman said, "but overall, I told the girls I wasn't doing backflips, but I wasn't displeased either."
This was the first report of the game. For the complete game, including picture, box score and the game story from the boys contest, click here.