West Ashley’s Mary Shirley made the most of her last official soccer contest, scoring the lone goal for the South all-stars in a 1-1 tie of the North-South girls all-star classic at Patriots’ Point on Saturday.
Shirley’s goal came in the 12th minute of play and gave the South a 1-0 lead that stood until the 56th minute when the North tied the score on a goal by J.L. Mann’s Sarah Dixon.
“I really didn’t think it was going in, I was just kind of shooting it to see what might happen,” said Shirley, who found the back of the net from 15 yards out. “I’m left-footed and I got the ball on my left foot so I took the shot. I honestly thought it was going over the goal.”
Shirley says the all-star event was her “last hurrah” as a soccer player as she plans to attend Clemson University as a student in the fall. Scoring a goal in such a setting was something she will always remember from her playing days.
“It’s cool to go out with a bang,” she said. “I knew this was it for me so I just wanted to go out and play as hard as I could. I’ve always played soccer for fun, not really looking at pursuing it in college, so to get this opportunity is truly an honor for me.”
Shirley was the leader for the South’s Most Valuable Player honors but a great finish by keeper Kamryn Kelley of Irmo swayed the final voting. Kelley made several outstanding saves late in the contest to preserve the tie.
Fort Dorchester coach Taryn Floyd was one of two coaches on the South squad and says the all-star experience was everything she had hoped it would be.
“It was a great experience being able to coach 18 players of this caliber,” said Floyd, who led Fort Dorchester to the region 8-AAAA title this spring. “It was very hot the last two days but I thought we really bonded and gave it their all.”
In the boys showcase, Academic Magnet’s Zach Reineke snapped a scoreless tie with the game’s first goal in the 79th minute as the South and North battled to a 1-1 tie.
After Reineke’s goal, the North salvaged a tie when Dutch Fork’s Addam Hinton tallied a goal in the 85th minute.
James Island’s Roman Brockman was named the Most Valuable Player for the South all-stars while Blythewood keeper Reid Hunter was named the Most Valuable Player for the North all-stars.
“I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time,” said Reineke of his goal. “It was such a hot day. We had lots of scoring chances all day, but I was lucky enough to put one in. There were so many good players on the field today. I really had a great time and getting to score a goal was just a great way to end it.”
Brockman played nearly all of the 90 minutes in what turned out to be the hottest day of the early summer to date. He will be playing collegiately on the same field as a member of the College of Charleston program in the fall.
“I wanted to get as many minutes today as I could so I trained really hard coming into the weekend,” said Brockman. “It means a lot to me to earn this award with so many great players out here today. It was hot and the heat played a factor. but it was a great day. Ending in a tie is not so bad in an all-star game.”
Academic Magnet coach Jason Hamil and Ashley Ridge’s Nate Harris coached the South all-stars.