James Island overcame the elements and the Gilbert High School boys soccer team Thursday night to advance in the Class AAA Lower State playoffs.
In the only playoff game in the area to go on as scheduled, the Trojans defeated the visiting Indians by 2-0 to advance to the Lower State semifinals. James Island (16-3) will travel Saturday to Myrtle Beach, a 6-1 winner over Swansea on Thursday.
Evan Tanner got the Trojans on the board about 10 minutes into the second half, knocking the ball into the net amid a melee in front of the goal. Samuel Garner iced the game with a goal with about five minutes left.
"Gilbert was very well organized and very well-coached," said James Island coach Todd Robinson. "We had a hard time breaking them down. And then once we had that first breakthrough, they started throwing people forward and it left them kind of exposed."
Robinson said the teams dodged the rain long enough to get the match in.
"It was really strange," he said. "It stopped raining here about 3 p.m., and then around game time we had a couple of showers soak everything. But then it was fine until the game ended, when we had a thunderstorm. So it worked our perfectly for us."
Myrtle Beach is 19-3-1 this season, two of its losses to Wando and Academic Magnet. Myrtle Beach has won 16 straight matches, and plays its home games on artificial turf at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
"Obviously, they are very good and well-coached," Robinson said. "It will be tough. They have a turf field we are not used to, so that's a home-field advantage because there's no other place like it. But it kind of suits our style, because we like to pass it around. A nice turf field is better than a bumpy field, so we'll give it our best shot."
Heavy rains throughout the Lowcountry on Thursday forced the postponement of several boys soccer playoff games. Here are the games rescheduled for Friday:
. Dutch Fork at Wando, 5:30 p.m.
. Aiken at Ashley Ridge, 6:30 p.m.
. Lexington at Summerville, 6 p.m.
. Barnwell at Academic Magnet, 5:30 p.m.
. Loris at Bishop England, 6 p.m.
In Class AAAA, Wando seeks redemption against Dutch Fork, which ousted the Warriors from the playoffs last season. With a win against Aiken, Ashley Ridge will face South Aiken, a 4-0 winner over Bluffton on Thursday. The Summerville/Lexington winner will face off against the Dutch Fork/Wando winner in the Lower State semifinals.
In Class AA, Academic Magnet and Bishop England are on track to meet in the Lower State semifinals if both teams win Friday.
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