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Lady Cyclones Win Second Straight SCISA AAA Soccer Championship With Win Over Pinewood Prep

Lady Cyclones Win Second Straight SCISA AAA Soccer Championship With Win Over Pinewood Prep

By Roger Lee

Charleston-- The game-winning goal for Saturday’s SCISA AAA Girls Soccer championship game between Porter-Gaud and Pinewood Prep was literally a family affair.

Porter-Gaud junior Mari Gillum scored two goals to lead the Cyclones to a 3-0 victory over Pinewood Prep in the 2019 title game at Porter-Gaud. Her first goal came approximately five minutes into the match off an assist from her sister, freshman Dita Gillum.

“My sister decided to flank and then cross it and luckily I was there to tap it in,” Mari Gillum said. “That is really big for me because that’s my little sister. We’ve played together so many years so for me to be able to score with her in a state final is something really special.”

The one-goal lead held until late in the second half. With just more than 12 minutes remaining, Porter-Gaud senior Evan Gilbert placed a hard shot from approximately 25 yards out into the back of the net for a 2-0 Cyclone lead.

After Pinewood moved starting goalkeeper Grace Powell up top in hopes of generating more offense, Mari Gillum put another shot past the Panther’s second-string keeper in stoppage time for the second half to cap the scoring.

Freshman Katie Van Kirk had the shutout in goal for the Cyclones.

The teams were very familiar with each other entering the title game. Porter-Gaud defeated Pinewood in another close championship match in 2018. This season, the teams split their regular season matches with Porter winning the first region match and Pinewood winning the second.

“Actually, losing to them during the season kind of helped us,” Porter-Gaud coach Hope Walters said. “It let us know what we needed to do, and we were fired up to play them. I think the girls decided we weren’t going to let that happen again. They fought hard to go back-to-back, and they got the job done. I’m so proud of them.”

The Cyclones improved to 15-7-2 with the win. Pinewood finishes the season at 19-6-1.

The Panthers did have scoring opportunities during this year’s championship. Pinewood sophomore Jordan White worked past a defender with approximately nine minutes remaining in the first half and got off a shot that was just wide.

Early in the second half, sophomore Riley Cox placed a corner kick right in front of the goal and eighth-grader Jessica Osborne sent in a nice header. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Kirk reached out and made a save.

Shortly after Porter-Gaud’s second score, White and freshman Kelsey McKinney moved the ball into the box and had a couple of good opportunities, but Kirk rushed forward to challenge and with the help of a trailing defender prevented a goal. With approximately six minutes remaining, Powell took a free kick from directly in front of the goal, but it was a little high.

“I’m super proud of the team after Thursday’s semi-final win over Cardinal Newman,” Pinewood coach Gail Osborne said. “Getting to the finals, for us, was huge. Our girls gave it everything they had today, we just didn’t have enough in the tank. A few injuries have not helped so we knew coming in this was going to be pretty tough. I’m proud of the work and that they didn’t stop fighting. It just wasn’t our day. Credit to Porter.”


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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