Recaps of Saturday’s soccer state finals

Billy Laube

St. Pius X swept boys and girls state titles while six other schools claimed state soccer championships Saturday in action at Kennesaw State and Emory. The Class A, AAA, AAAA and AAAAAA finals were played Saturday and each recap can be found below.

Class AAAAAA boys

Brookwood 2, Mill Creek 1: At Kennesaw State, Brookwood won its first boys state title since 2004 and third overall Saturday in overtime. Senior Alfredo Rivera scored just one minute into the first overtime period and the Broncos held the lead for the rest of the two overtime periods. Mill Creek looked like it would win when Jack Giles scored on a header with eight minutes left in regulation. The Hawks then missed on a penalty shot before Brookwood tied the game on a header by Jordan Locke to send it to overtime.

Class AAAAAA girls

Harrison 2, Grayson 1: The Hoyas (22-0) finished their season undefeated after a dramatic comeback win over previously unbeaten Grayson 2-1 Saturday at Kennesaw State. Harrison trailed at the half for the first time all season, but just 2:31 into the second half, Audrey Tanner tied the score. Treva Aycock then scored the game-winner with 28:59 left. Grayson, the 2007 state champion, scored in the first half on a Jennifer Westendorf goal. The Hoyas won their second state title; the other came in 2011.

Class AAAA boys

Dalton 2, Johnson-Gainesville 0: Dalton completed its second straight undefeated season (44-0-1 in two years) and won its second straight state championship Saturday at Kennesaw State. Justen Macias and Javier Rodriguez scored goals for the Catamounts, Macias’ just before the half and Rodriguez’s just after the half. Goalkeeper Lueri Fraire kept a clean sheet for Dalton and made a sensational save just five minutes into the game.

Class AAAA girls

Marist 3, Veterans 0: Marist won its ninth girls state title Saturday at Kennesaw State. All of the War Eagles’ championships have come under retiring coach Sergio Stadler, who has been with the program since starting it in 1988. Kelsey Carrier started the scoring less than 10 minutes into the game when she found the back of the net off an assist from Laine Keough. Meredith Selvey and Caroline Snyder added first-half goals. The War Eagles gave up just four goals all season and outscored the competition 37-0 in the playoffs.

Class AAA boys

St. Pius X 2, Oconee County 0: St. Pius X used second-half goals from David McNabb and Edmundo Robinson to defeat Oconee County 2-0 for the Class AAA boys state championship Saturday at Emory. The game was scoreless at the half before McNabb, a senior midfielder connected on a free kick with 15 minutes left in the match. After St. Pius X (18-5) senior striker J.D. Manzo was red-carded and subsequently ejected with 11 minute left, the Golden Lions were down to 10 men. But Robinson struck with just over six minutes left to clinch the Golden Lions’ 10th boys soccer championship. It was the first state finals appearance for the Warriors (19-4) since 2007.

Class AAA girls

St. Pius X 1, Blessed Trinity 0: St. Pius X won its fifth girls state title in six years Saturday at Emory after a Grace May first-half goal gave the Golden Lions a lead they would not relinquish. It is also the second straight state title for St. Pius X. May scored with five minutes left in the first half and goalkeeper Sarah Chin made it stand.

Class A boys

Paideia 4, AIS 2: Of all the repeat state soccer champions this weekend (there have been six), Paideia may have been the most surprising. The Pythons were 7-7-1 just one month ago but reeled off seven straight victories, including five in the playoffs, to take home the boys Class A crown for the second straight year. Paideia lost eight seniors off last year’s squad, but matured throughout the season and played its best when it mattered most. The Pythons defeated AIS for the second time in three weeks Saturday at Emory.

AIS, which had been ranked No. 1 for much of the season in Class A, led 2-0 late in the match Saturday after second-half goals by Nick Rath, but the Eagles watched as Paideia scored twice in four minutes to tie the game with 12 minute left. Lagos Kunga and Thompson Race scored the goals for Paideia. Phillip Galonsky gave the Pythons the game-winning goal in the first overtime period before Kunga added insurance with three minutes left in the second overtime period.

It is Paideia’s second state title in program history.

Class A girls

Pace Academy 3, First Presbyterian 2: Pace Academy won its first state title since 1997 after a 4-3 edge in a shootout over previously-undefeated First Presbyterian Saturday at Emory. The teams were tied at 2 headed into overtime, which ended without a goal.

Senior defender Kandace Thomas headed Pace to a 2-2 tie with 12 minutes left in regulation. In the penalty kick shootout, Cater Carlton, Jessice Haidet, Thompson and Cadie Schiffer each converted their attempts while goalie Avery Queller, a freshman, made a save. Schiffer’s conversion clinched the win for the Knights.

It is Pace’s first state soccer title since 1997 and third overall.



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One Response to “Recaps of Saturday’s soccer state finals”

  1. Alex Henderson
    May 27, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    In AAA girls’ soccer over the last 12 years, private schools represent about 5-10% of all high schools but have won more than 90% of state titles. Only two public schools have won state titles in 20 years. Over that period, private schools have won 85% of state titles.

    Three private schools, St. Pius, Blessed Trinity, and Westminister have won 11 of the last 12 titles (92%).

    Single A sports have been split into public/private state championships. AA will be next.

    Because GHSA requires a minimum of 16 schools in a division before they can have a state championship, a split will never happen in AAA girls’ soccer.

    It’s quite possible a public high school may never win another AAA girls’ state championship.

    Maybe with new leadership, the interest of ~60 public high schools with soccer programs may trump that of a few private high schools.


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