Lady Bengals Bounced in State Soccer Quarterfinals

On Wednesday (May 8) the Lady Bengals soccer team hosted the Lady Mavericks of Mauldin High School in the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Blythewood squeaked out a 1-0 win over Mauldin and after the game Lady Bengals head coach Mike Mauldin was proud of his team’s performance against a top-10 opponent.

“We played outstanding,” Mauldin said. “And I think that win proves we can play with the big dogs.”

Traditionally, Mauldin High School is one of the top programs in the state and has been for a long time. The Lady Mavericks have played in four of the past five state championships and won it all in 2009. On May 8, the two teams played to a stalemate through the first 40 minutes and went into halftime all knotted up 0-0. Through the first 16 minutes in the second half, on two separate occasions, the Lady Bengals had goals taken off the board due to an offsides call. But in the 68th minute, Blythewood’s Kylie King broke the tie with a header off a cross from Alex Baker. Mauldin said he believes that quickness and aggressiveness was the key to their second half success.

“I think our speed on the wings wore them down late in the game,” Mauldin said.

In the second half, Blythewood shot four times with three going on target compared to just one shot on goal for the Lady Mavericks.

“That was a huge win for our program,” Mauldin said. “It puts us in with the top teams in the state.”

With that win the Lady Bengals advanced to the quarterfinals to face T.L. Hanna last Friday (May 10). For Blythewood it would be their third straight home playoff game. T.L. Hanna was last year’s state champion and the game for Blythewood’s head coach would be especially notable because T.L. Hanna is his alma mater. Blythewood wasted no time jumping out in front in the quarterfinal matchup as Baker scored off a corner kick in the second minute. King netted a goal of her own off an assist from Baker and at the half Blythewood held a 2-1 advantage. Each team added another goal in the second half, with Blythewood’s coming from Savannah Purvis. However, the Lady Bengals were able to subdue the rally from T.L. Hanna and come away with a 3-2 victory to vault them into the state semifinals. The Lady Bengals were faced with the task of going to J.L. Mann on Monday with a chance to play in the state finals. J.L. Mann (24-1) took advantage of their home field and stalled Blythewood’s state title hopes with a 2-1 win. After an early exit in the first round of last year’s playoffs, J.L. Mann will play in the state championship game against top ranked Wando (19-1-1) tonight (May 17) at Gilbert High School. Blythewood’s season came to a close after winning three straight home playoff games and ended the year as Region IV-4A champs with a 20-4 overall record and ranked third in the state.

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