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AMHS Girls Soccer Team Wins State Championship

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Last Friday, May 12, both the boys and girls Academic Magnet soccer teams traveled to Irmo High School to compete for the South Carolina High School League’s Class AA State Championship.  Both teams also played St. Joseph’s Catholic School, the same school the AMHS volleyball team fell to earlier in fall 2016 in the state finals.

As the teams left Magnet, all of the students lined up along with the Dirty Birds to give all the state qualified student-athletes an encouraging send off.  The soccer teams then boarded the bus and were escorted by a firetruck and police car to I-26.  By 1 P.M. the girls began to warm up in the 85 degree heat on the scorching turf field.

The first half started with a surge in the raptor offense and it was obvious that Magnet swiftly took control of the game. Seven AMHS players (SR Erin Schnell, SR Gabi Rauls, JR Emma Ladd, JR Rowan Burns, SO Jourdan Gruber, SO Riane Coman, and SO Maggie Vanthullenar) had been named to the All-State Team compared to one All-State player on St. Joe’s (SO Cece Hendrix).  While the raptors had taken command of the game and had possessed the ball for the majority of the half in their attacking third of the field, the lone goal of the half came from goal keeper Maggie Vanthullenar off a free kick 35 yards out from St. Joe’s goal.  The Raptors ended the first half with a 1-0 lead.

In the locker room during halftime, AMHS Girls Soccer Head Coach Alister Delong told the team that “the next goal will win the game.  I can promise you that,” and encouraged his team just to keep pushing and playing at their maximum capacity.  Sure enough, Riane Coman scored within the first two minutes of the second half, bringing the score to 2-0.  Then again two minutes later, Coman scored again making it a 3-0 game.  St. Joe’s eventually answered with some crafty passing in Magnet’s penalty area, finding the back of the net to bring them back into the game with a 3-1 score.   Then again, Riane Coman, sophomore and top-scorer in South Carolina, earned a hat trick with her third goal of the finals and ended her sophomore career with 51 goals this season. Next, junior Abby Tickle, who had recently recovered from a torn ACL, also scored bringing the game to 5-1 Magnet.  St. Joe’s then tried for a comeback with another goal but senior captain Kyle Thayer had a different idea, scoring the final goal of the game, bringing the score to 6-2 with Magnet on top.

This State Championship win for the Magnet girls is the fifth state title for them in the last seven years, most recently coming in 2015.  This year the girls finished the playoffs with only 3 goals against them.  Head Coach Alister Delong and Assistant Coach and brother to Alister Doug Delong reflected on their first successful season at, with Alister noting how on the day he accepted the Magnet coaching position, Doug was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Now 11 months later, both brothers are happy, healthy, and coaches of State Champions.

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AMHS Girls Soccer Team Wins State Championship