Boys Soccer: Light at the end of the tunnel brightens for emerging contenders

Credit: Seth Ellerbee

Credit: Seth Ellerbee

After three rounds of playoff action, we have reached the Final Four of the boys soccer state playoffs. Each of the seven classifications will resume play this Tuesday for semifinal action as we inch closer to championship weekend. Before we get to championship weekend, however, there have been several storylines that have developed across the state that have cleared the path for surging state title hopefuls.

In Class 7A, Pebblebrook’s 3-2 win over Berkmar was a huge mountain for the Falcons as they get ready to take on Walton in the semifinals. Across the bracket, Roswell has made it to the semifinals as a No. 3 seed while eliminating Gwinnett powerhouses Brookwood and Grayson, and surviving a 1-0 first-round victory against Campbell. Meadowcreek scored the only shutout in the semifinals as they defeated Etowah 2-0 and they will now take on the upset-minded Hornets in what will mark Roswell’s fourth-straight road playoff matchup.

In Class 6A, Allatoona, Chattahoochee, Gainesville and Dalton pack the final four with some of the state’s top programs. Allatoona and Dalton both hail from Region 6 and could potentially set up a rematch of this year’s 4-1 Dalton victory. Dalton hasn’t lost to a single Georgia opponent this season.

The biggest surprise in the top three classifications, however, comes in Class 5A where Grady has made it all the way to the semifinals as the No. 4 seed. The Knights will face top-ranked McIntosh in the semifinals on Tuesday. McIntosh netted a 1-0 victory over defending Class 5A state champion Riverwood on Saturday and are two wins away from the program’s third state title in five seasons.

In Class 4A, Marist is the only semifinalist that has a state championship on its resume. The War Eagles last won the title in 2009. Blessed Trinity, Druid Hills and Southeast Whitfield are two wins away from their program’s first.

The top four teams according to the rankings in Class 3A line the semifinals. Top-ranked Westminster has carried a 12-1 scoring advantage through the first three rounds. Thomasville wears a No. 3 seed into its clash with Coosa in the 2A semifinals.