The Myrtle Beach boys soccer team’s weekend trip to Columbia to compete in the prestigious Airport Invitational provided a big lift off for the program.
The No. 4-ranked Class AAA Seahawks dominated their way through a field that included 18 top teams, included 10 ranked schools, to win the championship 2-1 over rival Socastee on Sunday.
Myrtle Beach’s Max Huggins scored the game-winning and championship-clinching goals with 15 minutes to play on an assist by Nick Wunder.
The Seahawks claimed the crown for the three-day event by winning five games, beginning with a 3-1 victory over Hammond, which is ranked No. 2 in the state in the SCISA poll. Alex Vasquez, Mason Lewis (assisted by Jose Arredondo) and Nolan Butler (assisted by Jarrett Lewis) scored goals, and Arrendondo made four saves in goal.
The Seahawks started Saturday with a 3-0 shutout of Nation Ford, which is ranked No. 13 in Class AAA. Aristen Baku and Ryan Arambula had one goal and one assist apiece and Lewis added a goal. Arredondo made three saves in posting the shutout.
Next up was Walhalla, No. 9 in Class AAA, which Myrtle Beach blew out 5-1 in the quarterfinal match. Lewis scored an unassisted goal and dished out two assists to lead the onslaught. Lewis set up scores for Josh Newell and Arambula, who also made an assist to Alex Osuna. Nolan Butler (assisted by Vasquez) rounded out the scoring and Arredondo made four saves.
In Sunday’s semifinal, Myrtle Beach scored a 3-2 victory over South Aiken, ranked No. 4 in Class AAAA. Lewis scored for the fourth consecutive game in the tournament, Arambula had a goal and an assist and Baku closed out the scoring while Arrendondo and Butler combined to make six saves.
Myrtle Beach ran into region rival No. 5 Socastee in the finals. The two schools are only seven miles apart but they played for the championship 150 miles away in Columbia. Baku scored the early goal and Huggins booted home the game-winner to give the Seahawks the tournament title.
The Seahawks return home to face region rival St. James on Tuesday night. The girls game starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7 p.m.
– Photo by Jackie Lewis
Seahawks topple Socastee for Airport tournament title | Grand Strand Sports Report.