Dutch Fork dispatched Spring Valley, 3-0, in the Class 4A girls soccer state playoffs Friday to advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in program history.
The fourth-ranked Silver Foxes (20-2) travel to face No. 2 Wando in the Lower State championship match on Monday with an opportunity to earn a state title shot for the first time. The Warriors from Mt. Pleasant denied two previous Dutch Fork bids out of the Lower State in 2008 and 2011.
“We want to play Wando,”Dutch Fork coach Mike Mauldin said. “They are the measure of girls soccer in our state, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Hayley Younginer had a hand in the first two Silver Foxes goals, both on set pieces.
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Younginer broke the ice in the 8th minute, lofting a free kick from 23 yards out over the head of Spring Valley keeper Meisha Draper. The chance was awarded after the Vikings were whistled for a handball violation.
The Silver Foxes put it away in the 59th minute on a corner kick opportunity. Younginer’s corner into the box beautifully set up a header score by Hannah Liner.
“Hayley is what you want in a leader because she makes everyone around her better,” Mauldin said. “She is so good at putting the ball in the right places on free kicks and corners. We moved Hannah up on the corner because she is so good in the air. That’s about as good as it gets right there.”
Emily Jermstad, the other mainstay in the midfield, scored the final goal in the 78th minute.
The 11th-ranked Vikings, who entered the playoffs as a No. 3 seed and won two road games to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in 11 years, finished the season with a 15-7 record.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Spring Valley coach Steve Lee said. “You always want to take it as far as you can, but we finally got over our second-round curse to get to the final eight. We knew we were the underdog coming in, and we had a plan but it’s tough to execute against a team as good as Dutch Fork.”