Hilton Head High girls lacrosse coach Kara Cooke knew AC Flora had talent across the lineup. But she also knew that her girls had the ability to outhustle and outwork the Falcons for every loose ball.
On Friday night, her Seahawks did it, and took the program to heights unseen in recent years. Anna Ferrebee scored six goals for the second game in a row, Brooke Simons set the tone with her dominance in the draw circle, and Hilton Head High girls lacrosse blitzed AC Flora 14-8 at home to advance to the SCHSL Class 4A semifinals.
“Every ground ball was our ground ball, every draw control we made our best effort to get, and I think that and our aggression on offense was the difference,” Simons said.
Ella Christie opened the scoring for the Seahawks two minutes into the contest, but AC Flora responded right away with two of its own to grab an early lead. Then Ferrebee turned it on, scoring two quick goals while Christie added another to go up 4-2.
Flora evened the contest again at 4 before Ferrebee rattled in two more to help the Seahawks carry a 7-6 advantage into halftime. Just like in the first-round win on Wednesday, Hilton Head dominated the second half, scoring five unanswered goals to surge ahead to a commanding 12-6 lead.
“At halftime we just talked about wanting it more,” Simons said. “I think we came out in the second half and showed that, and we cleaned up some errors in transition. The fact that we remained composed and aggressive throughout the game was a huge key.”
The Falcons cut the margin to five twice, but the Seahawks answered back with a gorgeous behind-the-back finish by Bailey Olive before Ferrebee capped it off with her sixth goal of the game.
“I am so proud of the effort and determination our team showed tonight,” Cooke said. “From the opening whistle to the last they believed in themselves and each other. That belief, effort, and a lot of grit is what propelled us to the win.”
Ferrebee was sensational again, scoring her second straight sock trick to begin the postseason. Christie delivered an amazing performance in all areas, racking up four goals and a whopping 11 ground balls. Sarah Kate Shupp notched a hat trick, and Olive added a goal. Sofia Cavano dished out a pair of assists while Allie Jeffrey tacked on one. Megan Rickenback made some key stops in goal down the stretch, recording five saves on the night.
Just a few months ago, Simons captured an incredible volleyball state championship. Now, she’s two wins away from leading her lacrosse squad to another. But it’ll be a test like no other on Tuesday, as the Seahawks (11-3, 7-2) travel to unbeaten powerhouse Bishop England. Simons and the Seahawks have overcome adversity all season long, and they’ll give everything they have in pursuit of the colossal upset.
“The volleyball state championship is still setting in,” Simons said. “To be able to come out with another state championship, we’re gonna have to work really hard the next few days. The opportunity to play in a semifinal is something our program hasn’t had in a long time. We might not be the most skilled team, but we are gonna work the hardest. No matter what the score is, that hustle, that passion, and that love for lacrosse is something that is carrying us far and hopefully farther into the state championship.”
By Wes Kerr