Having already handily beaten Airport in a preseason match, the Myrtle Beach girls soccer team had a good idea of what to expect Wednesday.
And it didn’t take very long for the Seahawks to get going.
Freshman Abigail Gonzalez scored three goals in the opening 25 minutes to set the tone, and Myrtle Beach pulled away for a 9-0 victory over the Eagles in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs.
“We beat them by a lot the first time, but I didn’t think it was going to play out like it did today,” Seahawks coach Blair Mueller said. “I thought we had a very good chance of winning today but if you told me before the game that it would be 9-0, I wouldn't have believed it.”
But Mueller quickly realized just how fired up her team was, and Myrtle Beach – ranked No. 4 in Class AAA – entered halftime with a 6-0 advantage.
“We came to play,” she said. “They know if they don’t perform – we go home. We’re done. They came out fired up and ready to score. If we get one goal [early], we’re going to score again.”
Gonzalez scored her final goal in the 48th minute to extend the Seahawks’ lead to 7-0 and the freshman finished with four to lead the way against Airport, which is ranked No. 13 in Class AAA. She has been a huge factor in Myrtle Beach’s success this season and now has 26 goals for the year.
“She has done a lot, especially as a freshman,” Mueller said. “She’s definitely been a force and I can move her around the field.”
The Seahawks finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-2 and were 9-1 in Region VII-AAA play.
Now with two shutout victories to open the postseason, Mueller and her squad will try to keep things rolling as Myrtle Beach hosts the Wilson-Brookland-Cayce winner Friday.
“I think as long as we go into every game like it’s our last game and stay healthy, we’ll do pretty well,” she said.