Bluffton girls soccer hung tough with defending SCHSL Class 4A state champion James Island on Tuesday, but the visiting Trojans pulled away to win 5-2 and hand the Bobcats their first defeat.
It didn’t take long for James Island to find the back of the net, as Alexis Spivey fired in a rocket from distance in the second minute to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Bobcats fought back on a brilliant effort by Gwenna Townsend, powering past a defender and the Trojan keeper before slotting the ball in the open net for a 24th-minute equalizer.
Townsend struck again nine minutes later, as a long bid from the right sideline was mishandled by the goalkeeper and trickled into the net to give the Bobcats the lead. The Trojans were determined to even the match before halftime and netted a pair of late goals on headers from Kayla McGary and Lilli Ray just four minutes apart for a 3-2 advantage at the break.
Ray picked up right where she left off in the 46th minute, popping in a rebound from a Gabby Redman cross off Bobcat goalkeeper Chapelyn Terodemos to extend the margin to 4-2. Bluffton began to search for a goal to get back in the match, but a fatigued Bobcat group couldn’t find a way to outmaneuver a stingy Trojan back line.
Terodemos was sensational in the second half to keep Bluffton afloat, but the senior goalkeeper couldn’t stop a Redman bullet that glanced off the far post and into the net for a 5-2 James Island cushion in the 50th minute. James Island relied on its defense the rest of the way, denying the Bobcats of clean looks at the net to seal the road victory.
Terodemos shined in goal for the Bobcats with 15 saves in the match.
Bluffton (7-1, 4-1) hosts Lucy Beckham on Friday in a key region clash.
By Wes Kerr
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