It took about a minute for the Oceanside Collegiate boys soccer team to make their statement against Woodland in Tuesday’s Class AA Lower State finals at Charleston Southern University.
An early goal set the tone, and four subsequent scores were simply exclamation points as the Landsharks (24-2-1) advanced to Friday’s state championship with a 5-0 victory. Oceanside Collegiate will play Upper State champion Southside Christian at 4 p.m. at Irmo High School.
“We have worked so hard to get to this point, so it’s very rewarding,” Landsharks coach Andre Berenzon said. “The boys have worked so hard and they deserve it.
“We try to come out with high pressure and high intensity from the start, and the boys went out and got the job done. We want to play with good possession, not only keeping possession but doing it in the attacking half of the field.”
Four of the five goals were scored by Phillip and Steven Siegwald. Phillip scored the first tally, while Steven added two first-half goals for a 3-0 halftime advantage. Ethan Flynn scored midway through the second half before Phillip Siegwald added a late goal.
Woodland came into the contest unbeaten at 18-0 but had not played as difficult a schedule as Oceanside had during the season. The Landsharks beat their first two playoff opponents 10-0, but Berenzon expected a challenge in the third round.
“We normally expect, as the games went by, for it to get harder and tougher,” the coach said. “We knew they had good athletes and good soccer players. We don’t ever take anything for granted. We have to play tough, play hard and do positive things.”
Woodland, which started its program from scratch eight years ago, was making their first-ever appearance in the Lower State finals.
Two other area programs playing for Lower State titles were not as fortunate on Tuesday night. Bishop England (21-5-2) let a late lead evaporate in the final minutes, losing to May River 3-2 in the Class AAA Lower State finals. The Bishops led 2-1 before May River’s Joel Fleek scored twice to lift the Sharks to their first-ever state championship appearance.
Charleston Charter School for Math & Science dropped a 3-0 decision to Royal Live Oaks Academy in the Class A Lower State final.
In the SCISA girls state tournament, locals Pinewood Prep and Porter-Gaud advanced to the state semifinals in Class AAA with impressive wins.
Pinewood Prep took down Heathwood Hall 9-0, while the defending state champions from Porter-Gaud knocked off Ben Lippen 10-0. Pinewood got three goals from Kelsey McKinney and two from Riley Cox to coast to the easy win.
Pinewood will host Cardinal Newman on Thursday, while Porter-Gaud will travel to Hammond. The state championship game in AAA will be at 3:30 p.m. at Porter-Gaud on Saturday.
In the SCISA baseball playoffs, Dorchester Academy eliminated St. John’s Christian with a 9-5 win on Tuesday. The win gave the defending state champions a sweep of the best-of-three series. Dorchester will play Richard Winn for the Class A state title beginning next Monday in a best-of-three series.
Wednesday playoff schedule
Class AAA Lower State championship
Strom Thurmond at Bishop England, 5 p.m.
Class AA Lower State championship
Gray Collegiate at Oceanside Collegiate, 5:30 p.m.
Class AAAAA Lower State championship
Ashley Ridge at Lexington, 5 p.m.
Class AAA Lower State elimination game
Aynor at Hanahan, 6 p.m.
SCISA boys soccer
Hammond at Pinewood Prep, 6:30 p.m.
SCHSL State soccer finals - Irmo High
Class AA girls
Oceanside Collegiate vs. Southside Christian, 2 p.m.
Class AA boys
Oceanside Collegiate vs. Southside Christian, 4 p.m.
Class AAA girls
Powdersville vs. Bishop England, Noon
Class AAAAA girls
Wando vs. J.L. Mann, 4:30 p.m.
Class AAAAA boys
Wando vs. J.L. Mann 7 p.m.