High School Sports

Chapin advances to Palmetto Cup semifinals

Chapin did not expect to be part of the Palmetto Cup field this season. In fact, the Eagles have not taken part in the annual spring-break boys soccer tournament hosted by Brookland-Cayce since 1996.

But circumstances created an opportunity to play this season, and Dick Hiller’s young squad has flourished at the blue-chip event. Friday, Chapin became the lone Midlands entry to advance to the semifinals, qualifying for the final four by playing defending champion Spring Valley to a 1-1 draw.

The Eagles take on Knox West from Knoxville TN at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The winner advances to the championship match at 6:30 p.m. at The Cage against either Eastside or Farragut TN.

Chapin (6-4-1) opened the scoring on a goal by Michael Ragsdale about five minutes into the match. Spring Valley (7-3-3) countered with a header late in the first half by Matt Harding off a nice cross from the right side by Antoine Parris. The Vikings finished with a 16-7 edge in shots. Chapin keeper Jason Vaeth made seven saves to five for SV’s Ben Limbaugh.

“We didn’t anticipate being here, but I’m glad we got the opportunity,” said Chapin coach Dick Hiller. “We usually use spring break for training to get ready for the playoffs, but when we lost all of those games at the Lake Murray tournament early in the season, I thought this would be a chance for this team to get in some good matches against top competition. To make it to the final four is a bonus.”

Chapin took the place of Dobyns-Bennett (TN), who had to drop out because for financial reasons.

“I’m glad we were able to step fill the opening,” said Hiller. “I know what it’s like to have a team drop out of a tournament on short notice.”

Chapin won the Group C title with a 2-0-1 record and 21 points. Spring Valley finished third in the group with eight points and a 0-2-1 record.