Wando girls top South Aiken in Class AAAA soccer playoffs
MOUNT PLEASANT — In what has become a routine occurrence, two-time defending state champion Wando advanced to the third round of the Class AAAA girls soccer playoffs with a 5-1 triumph over second-seeded South Aiken Thursday evening at Wando Stadium.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the game was postponed 24 hours as a result of severe weather. That means the Warriors face a quick turnaround, hosting Dutch Fork — a 3-0 winner over North Augusta — at 7 p.m. today. The Silver Foxes’ second-round contest was also delayed by a day, nullifying any advantage.
Substitute Melissa McCool made an immediate impact for Wando (19-1), setting up a goal less than two minutes after entering. The junior midfielder’s cross into the box found the head of Hannah Ross, who redirected the ball into the far side netting with 13:35 expired for the early 1-0 lead.
Six minutes later, Ross gave the top-seeded Warriors a two-goal halftime cushion, finishing Jane Vardzel’s pass from five yards out.
“We got a couple goals early — that was nice — but I knew South Aiken would continue to press and press,” said Warriors coach Shannon Champ, whose team won 11-0 over Ridge View on Monday. “Fortunately for us, we were able to finish off a few crosses and a corner kick, and that was pretty much how we found success tonight.”
Rachel Torlay and Vardzel nodded in goals eight minutes apart to give Wando a 4-0 advantage midway through the second half as Champ began to rest her starters.
With 10:00 left, Megan O’Connor made it 5-0. Wando keeper Logan Nelson had a shutout until a late goal.