The Hilton Head High girls’ soccer team’s run of six straight trips to the state championship game ended last season, but the Seahawks are hopeful they can start a new streak this year.
The Seahawks return three all-state players in senior midfielder Carson Schoppe, sophomore forward Hannah Stanhope, and sophomore defender Miya Poplin, who helped them reach the Class 4A Lower State final a year ago. They begin the season ranked third in Class 4A and have high hopes with a talented freshman class joining an experienced group that includes eight returning starters.
The Lowcountry also is home to two top-10 teams in Class 3A in No. 2 Bluffton and No. 6 May River, and last year’s SCISA 1A state finalists – Beaufort Academy and John Paul II – are the favorites to get back to the championship game.
Coach: Butch Abdelnour (3rd season)
2017 record: 6-7
2017 playoff results: Class 3A first round
Returning starters: 7
Top returners: Sara Webb, Taylor Corlett, Kaitlyn Davis, Carmen Cruz-Woodley, Gabbi Morales, Zoe Wills, GiGi Magbee
Coach’s outlook: We’re still a young team, but we’re steadily growing stronger.
Coach: Dianne Wilson (1st season)
2017 record: 9-7
2017 playoff results: Reached second round of Class 4A playoffs
Returning starters: 6
Top returners: Maggie Crisologo, Brigid Murphy
Key losses: Bella Kimbrell, Heily Hernandez, Julia Smith, Christina Dore
Key newcomers: Rachel Schwerin, Ellie Muniz, Caroline Louw, Reagan Cline
Coach’s outlook: We’re looking for a better record and longer life in the playoffs. Key improvements will be our organization, possession game, and creative attacks.
Coach: Alyssa Gervelis (3rd season)
2017 record: 20-7
2017 playoff results: Reached Class 3A semifinals
Returning starters: 8
Top returners: Sha’Nya Stephens, Kat Rathke, Priscilla Jean, Kennedy Barber, Kaleigh Brown, Jessica Jimenez, Jillian Lauver, Jennyfer Rodriguez, Maria Mejia
Key losses: Annie Franklin, Jaelyn Gadson, Ashlynn Harris, Kristy Harmison, MacKenzee Vance
Coach’s outlook: We’re going to need all 11 players that step onto the field and all 19 on our roster. Every player is key and will have an important role in this 2018 squad. My focus right now is for these girls to make an impact together and play as a unit.
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN
Coach: Mike Haughton (1st season)
2017 record: 4-9
2017 playoff results: Lost in first round of SCISA 2A playoffs
Coach’s outlook: I’m an English coach with some new ideas for the girls and how I would like them to play. I was at Manchester City for nine years as football development manager, so I guess that’s in my DNA, which I want to transfer into the team.
HILTON HEAD HIGH
Coach: Ernie Suozzi (9th season)
2017 record: 21-5
2017 playoff results: Class 4A Lower State runner-up
Returning starters: 8
Top returners: Christina Goode, Bailey Headlee, Carson Schoppe, Madison Yeomans, Nicte Barrientos, Emily Slawson, Carissa Church, Bethany Neval, Valentina Palacio, Anna Moreno, Miya Poplin, Hannah Stanhope
Key losses: Kendal Moran, Juliette McMurray, Shea Jenkins, Alexis Smythe
Coach’s outlook: We have a good freshman class coming in. It’s going to take a little time for the team to jell, but the outlook is very promising.
HILTON HEAD PREP
Coach: Risa McMillan (5th season)
2017 record: 13-5
2017 playoff results: Reached SCISA Class 2A semifinals
Returning starters: 6
Top returners: Charlotte Covington, Sarah Orie, Kierstin Clark
Key losses: Ava Nixon, Catherine Sheehan, Cori Leonard
Key newcomers: Ryan Dailey, Caitlin Heidel
Coach’s outlook: I feel optimistic about the season ahead with a strong returning crew and some new, young faces with experience and good ball control.
JOHN PAUL II
Coach: Brian Quinty (3rd season)
2017 playoff results: SCISA 1A runner-up
Returning starters: 11
Top returners: Briana Riley, Abigail Quinty, Merritt Woodham, Katie Leigh Floyd
Key losses: Dorian Nungaray
Coach’s outlook: With pretty much all of our key players returning we are looking for better results year over year. Our region has added a solid opponent to our schedule this year, but we have a group that’s been playing together now for four years. We are very hopeful for another trip to the championship game with a determined team.
Editor’s note: If a team’s information is not included, it is because the coach did not respond to a request for season preview information.