Second-round boys soccer recap

LeeAnn Young

The Lovett Lions boys soccer team is the story of the playoffs having won two straight games against higher-seeded foes to advance to the quarterfinals despite winning just one regular-season game. Lovett dispatched No. 5 Jefferson in the first round, then No. 10 Coosa in the second round, each on the road. Up next for Lovett, is a long trip to Thomasville, which is also unranked. A win there and Lovett could face top-ranked GAC for the third time this season.

Brookwood may be the No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA, but the state tournament draw is not doing it any favors. The Broncos got a stern test from fifth-ranked Lassiter during second-round action on Tuesday evening, but they passed it to reach the quarterfinals. Samaan Williams and Alfredo Rivera scored second-half goals to break a 0-0 tie at the intermission and goalkeeper Andy Harris made several impressive saves to preserve a 2-0 shutout. Next up for Brookwood is No. 3 Campbell, which edged Colquitt County 2-1.

Other quarterfinal showdowns pit Harrison against Walton, Hillgrove against Mill Creek and Douglas County against South Gwinnett. No. 4 Walton survived seventh-ranked Central Gwinnett 1-0 on a penalty-kick conversion by Chris Jensen. The visiting Black Knights almost equalized in the final minute but had a shot ricochet off a goalpost.

In Class AA, Region 6 representatives Greater Atlanta Christian, Lovett and Westminster moved safely through to the quarters. Four different players scored goals as top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian routed Murray County 7-0. The Spartans did not find the back of the net until the 37th minute, when Davis Bryan redirected a corner kick past Murray County’s goalie.

“We have learned how to manage the game,” head coach Thom Jacquet told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “We had a lot of chances early that we didn’t capitalize on. They know to keep playing and the goals will come…. Our defense is really fast. They played really well today to cut off opportunities.”

Westminster also stifled its opponents in a shutout victory. The Wildcats found themselves in an early-round battle between two of the top three teams in the classification, as they had to travel to Calhoun on Tuesday. No. 3 Westminster scored on a header by Justin Greenfield in the 19th minute and that proved to be enough in a 1-0 win. Goalkeeper Benton Wood thwarted a host of free kicks and corner kicks for the No. 2 Yellow Jackets in the second half.

“We knew their strategy coming in and we knew they were the three-time defending state champion,” Calhoun head coach Matt Rice told the Northwest Georgia News. “They know how to win. We matched their level tonight, but after they got that one score they were able to pack it in and preserve the lead. Our boys gave everything they had and created chances, but their goalkeeper made some great saves.”

Westminster will face Toombs County for a spot in the semifinals.

Stephen Black contributed to this story. 




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