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Sports: Warriors meet Raptors in Lower State soccer final

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Waccamaw High will kickoff at 6 p.m. today in Charleston in the boys Lower State soccer match with Academic Magnet. The Warriors last played for the title in 2010.

The teams met once in the regular season, with the Raptors coming away with a 1-0 win at Waccamaw. They are the No. 1 seed in the Lower State and host the match at Ravanel Stadium in West Ashley.

Waccamaw was the No. 3 seed and advanced with a 4-1 win over No. 2 Bishop England in the quarter-finals of the playoffs. Academic Magnet beat Barnwell 4-1. The Raptors split with Bishop England, losing 1-0 and winning 3-2 in a match decided by penalty kicks.

The winner of today’s match plays Saturday in Columbia for the state Class AA championship.

The scene of so many thwarted hopes, the win Saturday at Bishop England left WHS coach Ben Schoen stammering as he walked off the field. “It’s about ... time,” he said, inserting an expletive for emphasis. It was the first time a Waccamaw boys team had beaten the Bishops.

The Warriors went up 1-0 over the defending AA state champions in the 35th minute with a corner kick from Lucas Vozniak, a Brazilian exchange student.

“I saw the goalie was a little far out,” he said, so he curled a ball high into the center of the goal. It was only the second Waccamaw shot in a half that saw them on the defensive from the opening whistle. Vozniak’s first shot on a break struck the crossbar.

Waccamaw held the lead into the second half when the Bishops drew level on a goal by Michael Reifeis who picked up a throw-in at the far post in the 54th minute.

The Warriors rebounded with a strike by Parker Williams off the crossbar on the restart. They maintained the pressure and Robin Muegge, a German exchange student, scored after the Warriors put a throw-in into the Bishop’s penalty area that was picked up by Eddie Meador.

Pushing to score, the Bishops found themselves vulnerable to the counterattack, and Vozniak and Covington Watson took advangate to add two more goals for the Warriors, who had never before had a lead against the Bishops.

"I’m thrilled, so thrilled,” Schoen said.

“It’s awesome,” said Vozniak, a Brazilian flag draped over his shoulders.

The Warriors advance to the Lower State final Tuesday against Academic Magnet.

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