Academic Magnet sweeps girls, boys soccer games against Bishop England
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 eighth minute, started by a well-placed corner kick from Taylor Lott.
Bishops coach Dave Snyder said they were close to tacking on another goal. “We did not make a major change after the first goal and actually generated a great opportunity at a second goal shortly thereafter,” he said. “Only a great save by their keeper prevented them from being down 2-0.”
Thirteen minutes after Bishop England’s score, 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 they got that first goal,” Merriman said. “That woke us up a little bit.”
The 3-1 advantage held for more than 20 minutes, before Bishop England narrowed its deficit following a goal by MacKenzi Mazur. But, the Bishops could get no closer.
“We had periods of solid play throughout the night,” Snyder said. “Unfortunately, these were mixed with moments where our communications and coverage broke down. The emotional dagger came on the breakaway goal where it appeared that the player was offsides. My younger players had trouble setting that aside and lost a bit of focus.”
Merriman said she would’ve liked to add to the scoring distance between the rivals after intermission.
“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.”
Academic Magnet and Bishop England play again April 18. “Anna has a great team and we respect them,” Snyder said. “That said, we are not prepared to concede the outcome of the next game with Academic Magnet or the season.”
Academic Magnet 3, Bishop England 2
at Bishop England, Thursday
For the record: Academic Magnet (5-1) Friday vs. Summerville, 5:30 p.m.; Bishop England (2-2) Saturday at Pinewood Prep, 11:30 a.m.
Goals: AM–Jesse Dooley (21st minute), Callie Peurifoy (37th, 40th); BE–Regan Van Metre (8th), McKenzi Mazur (64th).
Saves: AM–Chris Sacha 5; BE--Julianne Dahlman 9, Logan Leask 1.
Shots on Goal: AM 16; BE 5.
Ross Rogers disrupted breakaways, corner kicks and anything Academic Magnet kicked into the Bishop England boys soccer team’s goalkeeper box, Thursday night in a game between the top two 2A programs in the state.
But, in the end, No. 1 Academic Magnet prevailed in penalty kick fashion, winning the one-on-one overtime 7-6 after playing to a 2-2 time.
“Ross really is the player of the game,” Battling Bishops coach Ed Khouri said of his senior goalie. “He came up with some huge saves that kept us in the game.”
Rogers had 15 saves, including a diving one-armed stop to the Raptors’ final shot in regulation. Academic Magnet sprayed shots all night and was able to keep the ball on the host team’s end of the field with precision passing and a host of capable forwards.
Academic Magnet had 18 shots on goal, contrasted to Bishop England’s 10 attempts. Raptor goalkeeper Brady Allardice had four saves in regulation.
The Bishops took an early lead in the 18th minute when captains Mateo Gomez and Drew Costa connected on a breakaway. Gomez laced the ball through a couple Academic Magnet defenders and Costa flipped the ball over a charging Allardice.
But, the Raptors were quick to equalize and eventually take the lead. Their first was scored about a minute later, aided by a Bishop England defensive miscue. Academic Magnet’s Jonathan Glenn missed a shot that deflected off the right post. A Bishops defender tried to clear the ball but did so back toward the middle of the box. Nick Nybo found the back of the net.
Then, in the 28th minute, Ethan Hanson scored when a Bishops defender mishit the ball attempting to clear a Raptor corner kick.
“We gave them two easy goals,” Khouri said. “Academic Magnet is a good team, and they’re going to be coming at you at the while.”
The 2-1 advantage held through halftime, until freshman Joel Bunting scored in the 56th minute, assisted by Matthew Mellin. Mellin’s shot was deflected high in the air, and Bunting booted it into the net for the equalizer.
Khouri said he liked his team’s resolve after facing a deficit for nearly half the game. “Joel scored a nice goal to bring us back and give us that mental edge,” he said. “It rejuvenated us.”
Two 5-minute overtime periods were completed without any scoring, so the game advanced to penalty kicks. Bishop England scored its first three attempts and led 3-1. The Bishops would win with a goal or by stopping a Raptors’ shot.
Bishop England missed its next three tries, and Academic Magnet connected on two of its next three to tie the penalty kick score at 3.
The rivals played even until the 11th round when Raptors’ Buckley McCall scored after a Bishops miss to end the game.
“If we don’t stay focused in what we do, that is what happens,” Khouri said. “After three PKs, I thought we would have won that. Very seldom do you have three PKs leading, and then you lose.”
Khouri said he was confident heading into penalty kicks. “We practice them. That is more or less our bread and butter over the years,” he said. “We’ve won a lot of championships and games with penalty kicks.”
Academic Magnet coach Jason Hamil did not return a request for comment Friday.
Academic Magnet 3, Bishop England 2
at Bishop England, Thursday
For the record: Academic Magnet (1-0) Friday vs. Summerville, 7 p.m.; Bishop England (2-1-2) Tuesday at North Charleston, 7 p.m.
Goals: AM–Nick Nybo (19th minute), Ethan Hanson (28th); BE–Drew Costa (18th), Joel Bunting (56th).
Assists: AM–Jonathan Glenn; BE–Mateo Gomez, Matthew Mellin.
Saves: AM–Brady Allardice 4; BE–Ross Rogers 15.
Shots on Goal: AM 18; BE 8.
Yellow Card: BE–Mellin (79th minute).