The seconds couldn’t tick away fast enough for Ken Corning.
The Chapin interim boys soccer coach paced up and down the sideline until the final moments ticked off in the Eagles' 1-0 win over Eastside in the Class 4A championship game at Irmo High School.
A raucous celebration ensued with Chapin players jumping in the stands to commemorate their third state title in a row. The Eagles are the first boys’ soccer team since St. Joseph’s (2012-16) to win at least three consecutive state championships.
"Every time I looked at the clock, it looked like it was going up instead of down," Corning said. “I was an assistant with the last one and now acting head coach. Watching these boys since they were 7 or 8, playing the game technically and the passion that grew with it. It is unbelievable.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The State
It is the boys’ soccer program’s fifth title overall. Chapin’s 16 seniors didn’t lose a playoff match their final three seasons.
This title was even sweeter for Corning, who was promoted to head coach April 10 when Denny Sago was let go. Corning gathered his players for a meeting and spoke of what he expected of them.
The Eagles went out and beat Dreher and A.C. Flora the next matches to secure the Region 5-4A title and home-field advantage in the postseason.
“It didn’t matter who the coach was. We had each other’s back, and that is all we need,” junior Josh Lochstamphor said.
“We had a team meeting and no one looked away. They said, 'We got you coach,' ” Corning said. “It happened at the worst time but we responded so well.”
Corning is unsure if he will take over on a full-time basis. He will think about the future over the next few weeks and get caught up on some much-needed rest.
“I need to sleep for about 16 hours,” Corning joked.
It’s the second straight year Chapin beat Eastside in the championship. The Eagles won 2-0 in a pouring rain last season. This year’s matchup didn’t have the rain, but it started more than hour late because earlier games before ran long.
Lochstamphor scored the only goal of the game as he hit the game-winner for the second straight match. He drilled a free kick from 29 yards out in the 47th minute to put the Eagles up 1-0.
The midfielder also had the game-winning goal in Tuesday’s 4A Lower State championship against A.C. Flora.
Chapin’s defense did the rest as it recorded the Eagles' 11th straight shutout and 20th on the season. The 20 shutouts are tied for second most in state history with Myrtle Beach (2000) and Wando (2017). The Eagles didn’t allow a goal since March 29 against Nation Ford.
“It is just the experience with four seniors back there,” senior Josh Corning said of the defense. “That is something that is really scary to go against if I’m the other team. That is a lot of experience and a lot of talent."
Corning, a South Carolina signee, was one of the team’s top defenders and helped bolster the veteran team. There is no reason they can’t keep things going in the program when Chapin moves up to Class 5A next year, he believes.
“There is a lot of experience with the underclassman coming back and will be lead this team to some wins for sure,” Josh Corning said.