Soccer state championship preview

Photo by Glenn Martin Photography

Experience can be a valuable asset. For those that don’t have it, there is only one way to attain it. But those with it hold a certain advantage.

In the state soccer finals, seven defending state champions have advanced back to the finals for a second straight year. Five of them are in the boys’ competition.


The boys’ Class AAAAAA final is a celebration of Gwinnett County soccer. Mill Creek, a first-time finalist, meets Brookwood, a traditional power that has won two state titles. A team from Gwinnett has won the championship in the state’s largest classification in four of the last five seasons. Berkmar wore the crown last year while Collins Hill won it in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Cobb County’s Walton won the state championship in 2011 and is the lone non-Gwinnett winner since 2009.

The girls’ AAAAAA final, meanwhile, has some uncertainty, as East Coweta and Grayson were forced to replay their match due to inclement weather. Harrison, the 2011 champ, awaits Grayson, which split the 2007 championship with Parkview.


McIntosh has been far and away the biggest favorite to win the Class AAAAA championship, as the Chiefs have rolled up an eye-opening 43 straight wins and were ranked No. 1 in the Score Atlanta/AJC rankings all season. Houston County is the No. 2 seed out of Region 2. The Bears lost to McIntosh in the finals last year by a score of 2-0.

The McIntosh girls are also in the final this year. The Chiefs have won six girls state championships, most recently in 2011 and 2012. Like the McIntosh boys, the lady Chiefs are ranked No. 1 despite getting the third seed out of Region 4. McIntosh will face a familiar foe in the finals. The Chiefs will take on region-rival and Fayette County-neighbor Starr’s Mill in the finals.


The Dalton boys rolled through Class AAAA this year and have done it again thus far in 2014. The Catamounts are undefeated since the 2012 state playoffs when they lost to Carrollton in the quarterfinals. Dalton has been ranked No. 1 all season.

Johnson-Gainesville will take on Dalton in the finals this weekend and will be some of the best competition the Catamounts have faced in a while. Johnson beat Dalton’s rival Southeast Whitfield 1-0 in the semifinals and has given up just two goals in the playoffs.

Marist is one of two defending state champions to make the girls finals. The War Eagles have been No. 1 all season and are undefeated with one tie. Veterans, in its first state championship game in program history, is 18-1 and has not given up a goal since March 8. Marist, however, has given up just four goals all season.


St. Pius X has been the story in Class AAA for two solid years. Both the girls and boys teams are the defending state champs. The boys, who are nine-time state champs, will take on Oconee County in the finals. The Warriors have not yet won a state title. The lady Golden Lions have taken home seven crowns and will face region-rival Blessed Trinity in the finals. The Titans have won five state championships.


All Class AA finalists are from Region 6. Defending boys champion Westminster has won three straight championships but will have to take on GAC, which has been ranked No. 1 all season and is undefeated. The Spartans beat Westminster twice during the regular season by a combined score of 9-1. Westminster leads the state with 11 state crowns while GAC has won three.

GAC’s girls squad is also in the final, having scored a whopping 35 goals in the playoffs. The Spartans face Lovett in the final, a team they split with in the regular season. The Lions won state championships in 2001 and 2005 while GAC took it home in 2012.


First Presbyterian is a proud girls soccer program, having won state championships in 2011 and 2012. The Vikings edged Fellowship Christian 2-1 to make the finals yet again. They are the lone school in the Class A finals to not be from the city of Atlanta. Pace Academy, owner of state championships in 1995 and 1997, opposes First Presbyterian in the finals.

The boys’ final consists of the defending state champion, Paideia, and Atlanta International School, a program that was ranked No. 1 for much of the season. In fact, the Pythons defeated AIS on April 23. Despite losing seven games this season, Paideia has rallied to win its last six to make the finals.

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