Academic Magnet rallies past BE; Charleston M&S wins in boys soccer

For all its accomplishments - including a Class AA state title in 2011-12 and four Class A championship appearances from 2004-2010 - there was one milestone that had eluded the Academic Magnet boys soccer team.

And that was a playoff win over rival Bishop England.

The Raptors crossed that one off the list Saturday afternoon at Ravenel Stadium, rallying for a 2-1 victory over the Bishops in the AA Lower State semifinals.

In Class A soccer, Charleston Charter School for Math and Science took a 1-0 win over the Governor's School behind a goal by Cullen Bagwell. The Riptide will Blackville-Hilda or Branchville for the Lower State title on Tuesday.

Academic Magnet (17-4-2) got a deciding goal on a penalty kick by Brady Allardice late in the game against Bishop England and held on to earn a Lower State final berth against the Waccamaw-Wade Hampton winner.

"This win means everything for us," said senior forward Ray Nugent. "It's a great rivalry, and BE is a great team with a great coach, so it means everything for us to come out and be able to beat them in the playoffs."

Academic Magnet won its state title in 2012 without having to play Bishop England, which won the most recent of 16 state championships last season.

"It's been a big hurdle for us, because Bishop England has been the dominant team in this classification for years, decades even," said Raptors coach Jason Hamil. "That's the program we're measured against, so to finally beat them in the playoffs was a tremendous win for us."

Michael Heyward scored in the first half to give the Bishops (12-10) an early lead that stood up through halftime, forcing the Raptors - who beat BE, 2-0, during the season - to regroup.

"We started realizing even though they are seeded fourth this year, they are not a typical four seed," Hamil said of BE. "They wanted this game as much as we did, and that was a bit of a wake-up call."

Zach Reineke got the equalizer for the Raptors early in the second half, getting a toe-poke on a ball sent in by freshman Capers Borders early to knot the score at 1-1.

Late in the game, senior Ethan Hanson drew a call in the box, and Hamil summoned keeper Brady Allardice to take the kick. He beat the BE keeper to the left for the go-ahead goal.

"We've seen him take penalties in practice all the time and make them," Hamil said of the senior keeper. "It was a gut call on my part, but Ethan looked like he might have taken a knock to the head."

BE coach Ed Khouri said he wishes the Raptors well the rest of the way.

"The goal they scored to tie the game was a good goal," he said. "I'm proud of our boys, they represented very well. Academic Magnet slowed it down in the second half, put their passes together very well and tactically did very well. I'm sure they'll represent the Lowcountry very well."