COLUMBIA -- If you're going to lose, you might as well lose to the best.
The Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, the seventh smallest high school in the state with 165 students, fielded its first varsity soccer team this spring and reached the Class A boys state championship. The Riptide's opponent was Christ Church, a team that has been mowing down opponents in the big game for more than a decade.
That was the case Saturday as the Cavaliers set a national record with their 11th straight state title with a 7-1 victory at Memorial Stadium.
"I just want to say hats off to Hayne Painter and the Charleston Charter Riptide for making it here in their first year," said Christ Church coach David Wilcox. "We are very happy to be here and we worked really hard to get here."
The Riptide finished 11-8, and although they lost, they could be back. There are no seniors on the 17-player roster. In fact, the school won't have a senior class until next year.
"Today was a good experience," Painter said. "Obviously, we had not seen a team with that type of talent in the Lower State.
"This is icing on the cake -- to play in the state championship and to see a team of that caliber. We have a lot to do to get to that next level."
Christ Church (21-4) flexed its muscle early, scoring a pair of goals in 62 seconds to take control of the match. Hunter Townes scored the first goal in the eighth minute and Dirk Pieper made it 2-0 in the ninth minute.
John Wilgus scored the Riptide's only goal. Late in the first half, Cavaliers keeper Colin Walker tried to clear the ball but kicked the ball off Wilgus' face. Wilgus was unfazed and slipped past his foe to score.
"Today was a learning experience," Painter said.
"We don't want to rest on our laurels. We can say we are best in the Lower State; we hit that goal. We want to say we're best in the state. And that's going to take a lot of work."