Charlotte Bozarth (No. 2) scored a hat trick of three goals in Riverside's 4-1 win over Indian Land in the 4-A upper state semifinals on Saturday, May 4.

Bozarth hat trick powers Riverside into upper state championship

Trey Stewart's picture
By: 
Trey Stewart

After Riverside girls soccer beat Indian Land 4-1 in the 4-A upper state semifinals, head coach Terri Archenhold embraced junior forward Charlotte Bozarth.

Archenhold was emotional in speaking to her after the game.

Sure, Bozarth had scored three goals in the win and powered Riverside into the 4-A upper state championship.

But Bozarth means a lot more to Archenhold — and the Lady Warriors — than that.

“Charlotte is the heart and soul of this team. She is everything,” said Archenhold. “Charlotte is the fabric of what we’re made out of. How she goes, we go.

“Everybody on this team and everyone that knows her looks up to her. She initiates so much of who we are.”

Bozarth’s “sweetheart” personality and leadership have earned the respect of her teammates. Her team-leading 15 goals this season have helped, too.

Bozarth looked up at the 4-1 scoreboard and smiled wide after the game.

“This feels amazing. I actually almost started crying tears of joy [after the final whistle],” said Bozarth. “I’m so proud of all of us. We’ve worked together so well as a team this year to get here.”

Riverside’s win earned the Lady Warriors a trip to the 4-A upper state championship. In Bozarth’s first two years on the team, Riverside hadn’t made it past the first round of playoffs. This postseason, they’ve already won three playoff games.

“Coming into this year, I feel like we had some doubts just because we’d never made it this far,” said Bozarth. “But I think there was a point this season where we just knew we were going to go far, and we did.”

Archenhold said making it to upper state was the team’s goal since the first day they met.

“This was our objective from the start of the season, when had our first team meeting,” said Archenhold. “And these girls have come in since that day and worked their butts off… I’m so glad that this team gets to experience being one of the final four teams in the state.”

Riverside’s opponent in the upper state title game is an all-too-familiar foe: Eastside.

Even before Eastside officially clinched its spot against Riverside — by winning their upper state semifinal over Catawba Ridge, 3-1 — the Lady Warriors knew there was a chance they’d face their arch-rival again.

Despite Eastside sweeping Riverside in the regular season, Bozarth and her team are confident they’ll get the best of the Lady Eagles the third time around.

“We feel like there was a lot of pressure on us to get to this game, because I know we’re better than Eastside,” said Bozarth. “I know we can win. It was just a matter of getting to this game so we can show it.”

The Lady Warriors will travel to Eastside on Tuesday, May 7 with a trip to the 4-A state championship on the line.

“I’ve been coaching soccer for 30 years, and if I know one thing, it’s that the big rivalry has always been Eastside-Riverside,” said Archenhold. “It doesn’t get any better than those two teams playing in the big one.”

trey@greercitizen.com | 877-2076

 

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