The conversation in the Greenbrier High School locker room following the first half of its quarterfinal boys soccer match with Collins Hill was hopeful.
The Wolfpack thought if they could score a quick goal to start the second half, they would be right back in it.
But the Screamin' Eagles, the top-ranked team in Class AAAAA, did not let up and bounced Greenbrier from the playoffs with a 4-0 victory.
"They showed why they were No. 1," Greenbrier coach Chip Warren said.
Collins Hill (17-3) advanced to play Walton in today's semifinal, a rematch of last season's Class AAAAA title game. The Wolfpack (17-1) suffered their first loss of the season.
Collins Hill kept the Wolfpack reeling in the first half, using superior passing to fuel its attack.
Collins Hill junior Malcom Miller scored two of his three goals in the first half, outrunning the defense to slip a shot in the left corner and soaring to head in another off a corner kick.
The Wolfpack players trudged up the hill to their locker room at halftime, facing a deficit for the first time all season.
"We did a lot of watching in the first half," Greenbrier junior Hunter Norton said. "They passed the ball around us really well. We spent a majority of the half just chasing the ball around."
At halftime, the Wolfpack talked about needing a quick goal in the second half to keep it close.
Greenbrier's best scoring chance in the first half came on a Kelechi Erondu header that bounced off the right post.
"It was a fast team, a big team," Norton said. "It was tough to find ways to attack them and break them down."
Warren's team started the final 40 minutes with more intensity, but it could not muster a score.
The Screamin' Eagles scored two goals the first 11 minutes of the second half. The first came on Miller's header and the second on a 30-yard blast from Aldo Lara off a set piece.
"I just told them to stay in our game," Collins Hill coach Stan Carpenter said. "If we have to adjust, adjust. But let's try to make them adjust first."
Marist 4, Lakeside 0
Lakeside's boys bowed out in the Class AAAA state quarterfinal after failing to grab the momentum to start the second half.
The Panthers started the final 40 minutes strong, but were stunned by Marist's second goal a little more than 10 minutes into the second half.
Lakeside "had us on our heels, there's no doubt about it," Marist coach Brendan Murphy said. "They came out of halftime and just dominated us."
Marist scored two times in the final seven minutes.
"The second goal just killed us," Lakeside coach Dave Morgan said. "Good cross, textbook finish. After that, we just started pushing guys forward."
Hillgrove 2, Evans 0
Hillgrove needed 45 minutes to solve the Knights defense, but scored twice in the second half to knock the Knights from the Class AAAA state boys soccer quarterfinal.
The Hawks were denied in the first half despite attacking at times with eight or nine players.
The Knights' defense had frustrated teams all season, but coach Brian Killips knew his team would eventually need to prove it could score.
Evans relied on set pieces as the cornerstone of its offense, but couldn't convert one against Hillgrove.
"They worked their tails off this year and never complained," Killips said. "This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and here they are one of the last eight teams in the state. I'm not disappointed in them at all."
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