Alexandra Fuller’s deftly placed free-kick goal in the 71st minute handed Hilton Head Prep a 2-1 win over Hammond in the SCISA Class 3A girls soccer championship match Saturday at Heathwood Hall.
It was the third straight SCISA title for the Dolphins, who finished with a 17-7 record.
“It was a strongly contested match like this one, goals don’t come easy,” said HHP coach Jimmy Leppert. “Fortunately, we had a gifted player get a chance to make the difference and she delivered like she has so many times in the past. But my hat’s off to Hammond. I was really impressed with their play today.”
Fuller, the daughter of former Clemson football great Steve Fuller, did not dominate, as she has been wont to do during her career. But when given the opportunity to break the 1-1 stalemate after being fouled just outside of the box with time waning in the regulation, the senior striker deliver – lofting a high shot over the head of Skyhawks keeper Ella Hyatt that caught the top right corner.
“It was a well-struck ball,” said Hammond coach Ali Jarrow.
HHP dominated the first half, creating a 5-1 edge in shots and taking a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute on a penalty kick by Catherine Calloway. The PK was awarded after a handball ruling against the Skyhawks in the box.
Hammond, however, turned it up offensively after the break. The shots were even at seven apiece in the final 40 minutes.
The Skyhawks evened the score at 1 in the 51st minute on a penalty kick by Perri Shockley after Ali Hymson drew a foul in the box.
“I was very proud of the effort,” said Jarrow, whose team finished with a 10-6 record. “No Hammond girls team has ever gotten this far before, and we didn’t give up a goal in regular play against a team that scores a lot of goals. We didn’t do anything different against them; we just played our game. I believe we have one of the strongest defenses in the state and we showed that today.”