Soccer state championships conclude with eight teams crowned Friday

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The GHSA state soccer championships concluded Friday after eight champions were awarded at four locations throughout the state – McEachern, Duluth, Savannah Memorial Stadium and Five Star Stadium at Mercer in Macon.

The recaps from Friday’s matches are below. For a recap of Thursday’s championship matches go here.

6A Girls: Johns Creek 2, Cambridge 0

Defensive prowess and an air-tight goalie helped Johns Creek to its first ever state championship. The Gladiators took a 2-0 lead before the half and that is all the offensive production that it would take to secure the victory.

“We went to the state title my first year five seasons ago,” said Johns Creek head coach Mary Byrne. “But since then, we haven’t been back to a state championship. One of the goals at the beginning of this year was to get back and they fought through adversity and never gave up.

Senior Lana Whittfield put Johns Creek up 1-0 with 28 minutes left in the first half. Junior Reagan Lundstedt scored with 4:22 left in first half to expand the lead and put the match out of reach.

“We said we needed to score first and score often,” Byrne said. “They were beautiful goals. They were team goals. It was awesome to see. Lana is our leading goal scorer and region player of the year, so I am glad she got one. And Reagan stepped up huge this offseason and she deserved that second goal.”

Johns Creek goalie Sierra Fowler – who allowed only one goal throughout the playoffs – kept Cambridge at bay. “We had just one (goal) scored on us in the playoffs,” Byrne said. “(Fowler) did fantastic. I think we had 17 clean sheets this season. Around there. I am just so proud of these girls, they deserved this.”

Cambridge was trying for its first ever state championship.

7A Girls: West Forsyth 1, Lambert 0

West Forsyth might have only scored once in the championship match, but it was the biggest goal in the history of the program. Lifting the Wolverines over Lambert for the program’s first ever state championship, the game-winner came from the foot of junior forward Tori DellaPeruta off a through ball from senior forward Sarah Harrell. The Longhorns were trying for the program’s second state title after winning the 7A championship in 2017.

A Public Girls: Atlanta Classical Academy 4, Armuchee 0

A hat-trick from sophomore Kristen Bunting lifted Atlanta Classical past Armuchee 4-0 and captured the program’s first state soccer title. The Cavaliers led 1-0 entering the locker room and pulled away in the second half. Bunting scored her first goal with 21:18 left in the first half and her second goal with 25:10 left in the second half which pushed the lead to 2-0. Britney Delgado put Atlanta Classical up 3-0 on a goal with 19:23 left in the match. After receiving a through ball, Delgado controlled the pace, got open and found the net. With 17:03 left to play, Bunting scored for the third time to put the match out of reach. Armuchee was trying for its first title.

A Private Girls: Holy Innocents’ 3, Pinecrest Academy 1 OT

Holy Innocents scored two goals in overtime to move past Pinecrest Academy and capture the program’s second state championship. Pinecrest led 1-0 halfway through the second half before Holy Innocents’ pulled even at the end of regulation. The Golden Bears tied with Savannah Country Day in 2006 for the program’s first title.

6A Boys: Dalton 3, Johns Creek 2

The Catamounts had to weather an early goal by Johns Creek but within minutes Dalton erased the deficit, caught the Gladiators and didn’t look back as it successfully defended its 2019 state championship. Fernando Guerrero scored the tying goal with 25:45 left in the first half and FIlemon Quintero found the net with 6:50 left to put Dalton ahead. Zeke Ortiz scored with seconds before the half to put the Catamounts up 3-2. Johns Creek scored with 15:51 left in the match but Dalton’s defense kept the Gladiators from sweeping the classification on both sides after the girl’s victory. Johns Creek was trying for its first boys soccer title.

7A Boys: South Forsyth 2, Lambert 1 2OT

South Forsyth outlasted the two-time defending champions and in doing so, captured the program’s first state championship. South Forsyth took a 1-0 lead on a Patrick Kelly short chip shot set up by a flawless assist from Gavin Williams from 35 yards out. Lambert pulled even on a goal from Chase Bell and the teams would finish regulation tied 1-1. Dino Stavros scored what would be the game-winner at the end of the first overtime period and the Eagles were able to hold on for the win. Lambert had won the past two state championships in 7A to go with a 4A title in 2012.

A Public Boys: Georgia Military 2, Academy For Classical Education 0 2OT

It might have taken two overtime periods but two goals in the extra time lifted Georgia Military past ACE Charter and to its second consecutive championship. Six minutes into overtime Ethan Tolentino broke the scoreless streak and gave GMC the 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, Tolentino found the net again to put the match out of reach. ACE Charter was trying for its first state title for a four-year old program.

A Private Boys: Wesleyan 3, Atlanta International 2 (3-1 Pk’s)

Wesleyan beat Atlanta International 3-1 in penalty kicks to successfully defend their 2019 title while capturing the program’s third soccer championship. The Wolves weathered a 2-0 Atlanta International lead late in the match but by the end of regulation, the teams were tied at 2 goals each. Atlanta International was trying for its first title.

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