The fifth-ranked Dorman Cavaliers scored two unanswered goals in the second half of their match against the third-ranked Fort Mill Jackets to win 3-1 in the third round of the 4A girls soccer playoffs.
The deeper the Jackets ventured into the 4A playoffs, the harder the competition got.
“It wasn’t our night,” said Fort Mill coach Ryan Morris. “That is how soccer is. When you get opportunities, you have to put them away. I am very proud of how our girls played.”
Dorman will play J.L. Mann on Monday in the Upper State championship.
Neither team seemed to be able to gain control for too much time to start the second half at Bob Jones Stadium on Friday, as they traded possession.
Dorman would double- and triple-team the ball on potential Fort Mill breakaways, halting their chances at any clean looks at the goal.
The Cavs broke a 1-1 tie on a throw-in with about 26:30 left in the game as sophomore midfielder Allie Cardew got into the position she needed to catch Fort Mill keeper Samantha Whitley off guard and sneak a shot into the left side of the net.
Fort Mill had a good chance with about 22 minutes left in the game as a shot by McKenzie Davis almost got past Dorman keeper Amelia Miles.
The Jackets’ passing game got better in the second half, but the Dorman defense continued to be hard to get through.
Fort Mill also had a penalty kick with about 14 minutes left but failed to convert its best opportunity of the second half.
Dorman iced the game with about 10 minutes left as senior Kayla McMillian scored her second goal of the game, catching Whitley out of position.
Dorman wasted no time showing just how strong it is, scoring on its first shot attempt of the game as McMillian scored less than three minutes into the game.
Fort Mill tried to rebound offensively and started to control possession more, but the Cavs’ defense was too strong.
Dorman seemed to be where Fort Mill needed to be as they anticipated and intercepted the Jackets’ passes for turnovers.
About 12 minutes into play in the first half, the Jackets’ Olivia Thompson was run over and came out of the game favoring her right knee.
The game became rough for both squads as it wore on. Dorman freshman Morrison Trnavsky left with an injury about 21 minutes left in the first half.
About midway through the first half, Fort Mill got a big break as senior Bailey Rich scored after Miles came out of the box and got caught out of position, allowing Rich to knock the ball in during a scrum for possession.
Despite the goal, Dorman continued to beat Fort Mill to the ball, especially in the middle of the field, allowing for some intense moments.
Dorman 3, Fort Mill 1
D – Kayla McMillian, 2:39
FM – Bailey Rich, 22:27
D – Allie Cardew, 64:34
D – McMillian, 70:57
Shots on goal: Dorman 5, Fort Mill 7
Saves: Amelia Miles (D) 6, Samantha Whitley (FM) 2
Corner kicks: Dorman 2, Fort Mill 4
Records: Dorman 18-3-1, Fort Mill 20-2-1.