Academic Magnet striker Kallie Peurifoy has Raptors thinking about repeat as state champions
In less than 90 minutes, Academic Magnet striker Kallie Peurifoy shifted the balance of power in Class AA girls soccer.
For nearly a decade, Bishop England dominated, winning nine state championships from 2000-09.
But on a hot, muggy spring night two years ago, Peurifoy, just a freshman at the time, scored three second-half goals against Bishop England, ending the Bishops’ undisputed rule over the sport.
“It was the win that put our program on the map,” said Academic Magnet coach Anna Merriman, who was an assistant coach at the time. “That was the first time everyone in the Lowcountry did kind of a double-take. I’m sure there were people that didn’t believe the score when they saw it the next morning in the newspaper.
“That was the first time we’d ever beaten them, so that was just a huge game for our program. Kallie just took over in the second half and dominated the game. She was dangerous every time she had the ball at their feet.”
Peurifoy doesn’t remember much about that game, except that the Raptors trailed 1-0 at halftime.
“We got a couple of quick goals early in the second half and then got one late to beat them,” Peurifoy said. “I remember how excited everyone was after we won, especially the juniors and seniors that hadn’t beaten them.”
The victory over the Bishops in 2010 was the foundation for the Raptors’ run at a state title a year ago with Peurifoy leading the way with 26 goals.
“I think that win gave us a lot of confidence that we could beat the best teams in the state,” Peurifoy said.
And just as they did in 2010, the Raptors had to get past Bishop England in the Class AA Lower State finals to reach the state title game. Peurifoy again provided the heroics, scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime.
Less than a week later, Peurifoy scored two goals as the Raptors captured their first state title, beating Christ Church, 2-0.
This season, Peurifoy, who has verbally committed to play for Virginia Tech, has continued her torrid scoring pace by scoring 25 goals.
“Kallie has really matured from last year,” Merriman said. “She realizes that she doesn’t have to carry the entire team on her shoulders. That actually it’s better when she doesn’t. She has learned how to play and move without the ball, and when she gets it, she trusts her teammates.”
Peurifoy said the Raptors, 18-3 this season, are a more talented team than they were a year ago when they finished 20-3-1. Going into Thursday’s game, Jenna Beauregard had 15 goals and 11 assists, while Arden Turkewitz had 10 assists and Jesse Dooley 15 goals. Keeper Emily Gossen had allowed just five goals with 16 shutouts.
“We’re a lot deeper than we were last year,” Peurifoy said. “We’ve got some great freshman players.”