Defending state champions Starr’s Mill, St. Pius, Westminster and Greater Atlanta Christian continued their march toward repeat titles with victories Saturday in the third round of the girls soccer state playoffs, and they’ll be joined in Tuesday’s semifinals by several more final-four regulars. Here is a class-by-class breakdown of the quarterfinals, with a look ahead to the semifinals, followed by the complete scores and pairings.
Class AAAAAA: Cobb County had a team in each of the four quarterfinals, and two (Harrison and Lassiter) advanced to the final four. Harrison, which won state titles in 2011 and 2014, beat North Gwinnett 3-1 and advanced to a semifinal matchup with West Forsyth, which knocked out Walton 3-1. Top-ranked Lassiter beat Lakeside-DeKalb to advance to a matchup with Collins Hill, which beat Hillgrove 2-1. Collins Hill is the only unranked team and the only No. 2 seed remaining in AAAAAA.
Class AAAAA: Region 4-AAAAA moved another step closer to providing both teams in the championship game for the fourth consecutive season when top-seeded Starr's Mill, No. 2 seed McIntosh and No. 3 seed Northgate advanced to the semifinals with victories on Saturday. Those three teams have combined to win the past six championships in the second-highest classification. Starr's Mill will face Columbus of Region 1 in one semifinal, while Northgate and McIntosh will meet in the other.
Class AAAA: Three of the final four – defending champion St. Pius, 2015 runner-up Marist and Woodward Academy – are making return visits to the semifinals, where they'll be joined by Buford, which is seeking its first state title. St. Pius won six state championships in the past seven years, and Marist won four titles in the past eight years and nine championships overall. Woodward Academy won its only state title in 2006.
Class AAA: Region 4-AAA has three teams in the semifinals after victories by top seed Westminster, No. 2 seed Decatur and No. 3 seed Blessed Trinity. Westminster, the defending champion, allowed its first goal of the playoffs in a 3-1 win over Dawson County. The Wildcats went 4-0 against Decatur and Blessed Trinity during the regular season, outscoring them 17-1. Their semifinal opponent will be Savannah Arts Academy, one of only three teams remaining in any classification from outside the metro Atlanta area.
Class AA: Region 6 won't have all of the Class AA semifinalists this year, but it will have three as Greater Atlanta Christian, Pace Academy and Lovett all dominated their quarterfinal matches and recorded 10-0 victories. They other semifinalist is Savannah's St. Vincent's Academy, which knocked out Region 6's Wesleyan in the second round and eliminated Bremen in the quarterfinals. St. Vincent's will take on Pace Academy, while GAC will take on Lovett.
Class A: Returning semifinalists Stratford Academy and Fellowship Christian will be joined in the final four by Atlanta International and Walker. Fellowship Christian is ranked No. 1 and was the state runner-up last season. The Paladins will face Stratford Academy, which is ranked No. 2 and lost in the semifinals last season to eventual champion Hebron Christian. The only semifinalist that has won a GHSA championship is Walker, which won three consecutive AA/A titles from 2008 to 2010 and another in 2003.
(R5 #1) Lassiter 5, (R2 #1) Lakeside-DeKalb 1
(R7 #2) Collins Hill 2, (R4 #2) Hillgrove 1
(R6 #1) West Forsyth 3, (R5 #2) Walton 1
(R4 #1) Harrison 3, (R7 #1) North Gwinnett 1
(R5 #1) Lassiter vs. (R7 #2) Collins Hill
(R6 #1) West Forsyth vs. (R4 #1) Harrison
(R4 #3) Northgate 2, (R7 #3) Forsyth Central 1
(R4 #2) McIntosh 1, (R7 #2) Cambridge 0
(R1 #1) Columbus 4, (R3 #3) Richmond Hill 2
(R4 #1) Starr’s Mill 2, (R7 #1) North Atlanta 1
(R4 #3) Northgate vs. (R4 #2) McIntosh
(R1 #1) Columbus vs. (R4 #1) Starr’s Mill
(R6 #2) St. Pius 3, (R5 #1) Whitewater 1
(R8 #1) Buford 1, (R6 #3) Grady 0
(R6 #1) Marist 9, (R8 #3) North Hall 0
(R5 #3) Woodward Academy 6, (R3 #2) Wayne County 2
(R6 #2) St. Pius vs. (R8 #1) Buford
(R6 #1) Marist vs. (R5 #3) Woodward Academy
(R4 #3) Blessed Trinity 4, (R2 #1) Peach County 0
(R4 #2) Decatur 1, (R7 #2) Lumpkin County 0
(R1 #1) Savannah Arts Academy 2, (R6 #1) Adairsville 0
(R4 #1) Westminster 3, (R7 #1) Dawson County 1
(R4 #3) Blessed Trinity vs. (R4 #2) Decatur
(R1 #1) Savannah Arts Academy vs. (R4 #1) Westminster
(R2 #1) St. Vincent's 3, (R5 #1) Bremen 0
(R6 #3) Pace Academy 10, (R8 #1) Union County 0
(R6 #1) Greater Atlanta Christian 10, (R1 #1) Thomasville 0
(R6 #4) Lovett 10, (R4 #1) Lamar County 0
(R2 #1) St. Vincent's vs. (R6 #3) Pace Academy
(R6 #1) Greater Atlanta Christian vs. (R6 #4) Lovett
(A2 #1) Stratford Academy 5, (A6 #3) Mount Pisgah Christian 1
(A6 #1) Fellowship Christian 6, (A4 #1) Eagle's Landing Christian 2
(A5 #1) Atlanta International 2, (A3 #1) Athens Academy 1
(A7 #1) Walker 3, (A2 #2) First Presbyterian 2
(A2 #1) Stratford Academy vs. (A6 #1) Fellowship Christian
(A5 #1) Atlanta International vs. (A7 #1) Walker
About the Author
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC