GILBERT — Wando senior Rachel Torlay played big time in a big game — again.
She scored a goal in the 4th minute of Friday night’s Class AAAA state girls soccer championship match against J.L. Mann, and the early score propelled the Warriors to a 2-0 victory and their third state championship in four years.
In the 2010 title game, Torlay had Wando’s lone goal in regulation against Mauldin, scoring on a penalty kick in the 51st minute. Wando went on to win, 2-1, in an epic 11-round penalty-kick shootout.
In 2011, Torlay scored from seven yards in the 22nd minute against Mauldin as the Warriors repeated as state champs with a 1-0 victory.
Friday, she scored again.
“It’s always good when you get that first goal,” Torlay said. “That first half was a little scary. (J.L. Mann) played well and tried to come back
But we work hard and deserve it. We’re out there practicing all the time.”
Torlay has been on the varsity team for four years and has enjoyed great success, helping the Warriors post an 88-4 record.
“Our goal all year was to win the state championship,” Wando coach Shannon Champ said. “Our goal was to bring the state championship trophy back to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and that’s where it’s going.”
The Warriors made it 2-0 in the 61st minute when senior midfielder Hannah Ross scored from 10 yards.
“(J.L. Mann) gave us a good game,” Champ said. “That first goal was great. It set the tone and gave us the momentum. I thought we could have gotten a couple more in the first half. Mann started playing really well late in the first half. But once we put that second goal in, I knew no one was going to take the championship away from us.”
Wando received a scare last week in the second round of the playoffs. Torlay was injured when she collided with an opposing player in the Warriors’ 1-0 victory over Dutch Fork. She missed the next game — a 4-0 victory against South Aiken.
In the 51st minute Friday night, freshman Ellen Hayes and a Patriot player collided. Both were down for a few minutes, but managed to get up.