The Irmo boys soccer team harbored no secrets.
Beaufort High knew what it faced on the road in the Class 4-A quarterfinals.
The teams met during the regular season. And the Yellow Jackets are the top-ranked team in the country.
The Eagles stuck around for 40 minutes Saturday but were otherwise overmatched during a 3-0 Yellow Jackets victory. Irmo advances to play host to either Wando or West Ashley for the Class 4-A Lower State championship.
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"We worked hard and couldn't pull it through in the end," Beaufort High's Hayden Cormier said. "But we're a great team. They'll go on really far next year."
The match was scoreless at the half. Irmo had numerous opportunities around the goal from throw-ins and corner kicks. In response, the Eagles packed the box with as many as nine players during the first half. They kept the Yellow Jackets out of the goal but left the middle free and didn't create many scoring chances.
"We knew we had to come out hard, and harder than them," Cormier said.
"That's why we shut them down in the first half. They might have shut us down, too." Coming out of the half, Irmo grabbed the advantage in the 43rd minute.
Yellow Jackets midfielder Zach Acree authored a nifty no-look, backwards cross that was finished by a right-footed blast from Mike Day on a run down the left side. Irmo's Matt Sieverding scored 10 minutes later by cleaning up a rebound in front of the goal. The Yellow Jackets added an own goal off a corner kick during stoppage time.
"We just tried to possess the ball around and make something happen," Day said. "Coach (Phil Savitz) told us we were better than we were playing." The Yellow Jackets (24-1) have not allowed a goal during the postseason, outscoring opponents 13-0.
Beaufort High coach Gabriel Nieves said before Saturday's game that Irmo looked like a professional team. The Yellow Jackets showed their skill by possessing the ball well throughout the quarterfinal and denying forwards Andrew Settlemire and Christian Faale the chance to bring the Eagles closer.
"They're so smart," Faale said. "They pass the ball so well. They stay poised. They don't get flustered when they're pressured. They talk really well. They're solid."
It was Irmo's second win over the Eagles this season. During their March match, Beaufort High scored first before falling 2-1. Beaufort High, which won the Region 8-AAAA title, finishes its season at 15-5.