River Ridge, McIntosh boys, Marist, GAC girls win soccer titles

The third day of the GHSA soccer championships showcased the ending of the seasons for Class 6A at McEachern and Class 5A at Duluth.

See the recaps from the opening day, the second day or check out the brackets for the boys and girls. The recaps from Thursday are below.

Class 6A girls at McEachern

Marist 4, Roswell 3 2OT

Senior defender Hannah Faklaris kicked a match-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation to send the two storied programs into extra time. Her goal with 8:37 left in the second overtime helped Marist avoid a penalty shootout against the defending-champions and secure the team’s 12th overall state championship.

Marist went up on a penalty kick goal from junior defender Grayson Rogers at the 23:11-minute mark of the first half. Roswell’s junior forward Rachel Phifer scored back-to-back goals at the 21 and 12-minute marks to put the Hornets ahead. Faklaris converted a penalty kick to tie the match at 2-2 but Roswell found answers in a goal from sophomore midfielder Maya Misawa at the end of the first half to retake the lead.

Faklaris’ goal came with 1:25 left in regulation to force extra time and set up her game-winner. Marist won its first soccer title in 1995 and won championships in 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2022. Roswell was trying for its second state championship after winning a program-first last season.

Class 6A boys at McEachern

River Ridge 3, Sprayberry 0

River Ridge relied on one first half goal and two second half goals from a trio of juniors to secure the program’s first state championship while denying Sprayberry its first title.

Junior Nolan McLure put the Knights ahead at the 13:35 mark of the first half. Junior midfielder Gustavo Almeida expanded the margin at the 21:59-minute mark of the second half to put the match out of reach. Junior forward Kingston Courts capped scoring late in the second half to secure the victory.

River Ridge’s playoff run went through Blessed Trinity 4-1, Gainesville 5-1, Riverwood 3-1 and North Atlanta to secure a championship berth. Sprayberry – which was also trying for the program’s first title – defeated Etowah 2-1, Sprayberry 4-1, Woodward Academy 2—1 and Glynn Academy 6-0 to earn a title berth.

Class 5A girls at Duluth

Greater Atlanta Christian 1(4), Cambridge 1(2)

Greater Atlanta Christian captured the program’s fourth state championship after outshooting Cambridge in penalty kicks.

The Spartans took a 1-0 lead after a penalty kick goal from senior midfielder Isa Moreno at 27-minute mark. Cambridge tied the match on a goal from Krystin Mesa at the 24:37-minute mark of the first half. The teams were scoreless in the second half to force extra time and then, after another scoring drought, penalty kicks.

Four Spartans found the net to secure the title – sophomore forward Margo Pritchard, senior forward Reese Black, junior forward Sophia Asiain and Moreno.

Greater Atlanta Chrisian previously won championships in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Cambridge was trying for the program’s first-ever state title.

Class 5A boys at Duluth

McIntosh 2, Decatur 1

McIntosh scored twice in the first half and then held on through the second half to secure the program’s ninth state championship and fourth since 2017.

The Chiefs went up on a goal from Adan Dollens at he 30:35-minute mark and Mile Strong expanded the margin at the 16-minute mark before halftime. Decatur got on the board with five minutes left in regulation but could not manage another goal.

McIntosh won its first title in 1992 and won again in 2000, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019 and 2021. Decatur was trying for the program’s fourth title after wins in 1977, 2003 and 2016.

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