3 Georgia teams nationally ranked as regular season winds down


Three Georgia high school girls soccer teams are in the top 25 of the most recent United Soccer Coaches national ranking of spring teams, which was released last week.

Buford is No. 2 nationally behind Charlotte Latin School of North Carolina. Marist is No. 11, and West Forsyth is No. 23.

Buford, the No. 1 Class 7A team in the AJC’s state rankings, is 15-0 and has outscored its opponents 84-1, allowing its only goal in a 2-1 overtime victory over Mill Creek on Feb. 27. The Region 8-7A champion Wolves will be back in action Friday against Class 5A No. 1 Jefferson at the University of Georgia’s Jack Turner Complex in Athens and will complete the regular season against St. Pius on Tuesday and North Paulding on April 12.

Marist is 12-0 and the No. 1-ranked team in Class 6A. The War Eagles have wrapped up the championship in Region 4-6A and close out the regular season with a tough stretch of games that includes Class 4A No. 3 Westminster (Friday), Class 7A No. 5 Brookwood (Tuesday) and Class 5A No. 3 Midtown (April 12). Marist has won 11 state championships, fourth-most in state history. Its most recent one came in 2022 while competing in Class 4A.

West Forsyth is ranked No. 4 in Class 7A by the AJC but No. 1 in the MaxPreps poll. The Wolverines are 14-0-2 and have clinched the Region 6-7A championship. They have regular-season games remaining against Blessed Trinity (Tuesday) and Dunwoody (April 11). West Forsyth won state championships in 2021 and 2022.

Buford, Marist and West Forsyth also lead the six Georgia teams in the United Soccer Coaches’ Region II rankings, which include teams from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. Buford is No. 1, Marist is No. 3 and West Forsyth is No. 5. Others are No. 7 Westminster, No. 8 Pope and No. 9 Jefferson.

Tournament schedule

The state tournament will begin on April 16 with first-round games in classes 7A, 5A, 3A and A (Division I and Division II), followed two days later by first-round play in 6A, 4A and 2A.

Championship games will be played May 7-10 at Mercer University, McEachern High School and Duluth High School. The first four rounds will be played at the higher-seeded school (coin flips will determine the site if schools have the same seed).

Here is the schedule for the five rounds of the girls soccer tournament:

April 16 - First round (Classes 7A, 5A, 3A and A)

April 18 - First round (Classes 6A, 4A and 2A)

April 23 - Second round (Classes 7A, 5A, 3A and A)

April 25 - Second round (Classes 6A, 4A and 2A)

April 29-30 - Quarterfinals

May 2-3 - Semifinals

March 7-10 - Championships

Mercer will host the Class A Division II (May 7) and Class 2A (May 8) championship games. McEachern will host the Class A Division I (May 7), Class 3A (May 8) and Class 6A (May 9) finals. Duluth will host the Class 4A (May 8), Class 5A (May 9) and Class 7A (May 10) finals.

Filling in the brackets

Eleven regions have crowned champions and reported them to the GHSA with less than two weeks remaining before the start of the playoffs. The 56 region champions, as well as the four area champions from Class A Division II, will be No. 1 seeds in the playoffs and guaranteed home games through the first two rounds. The region champions currently listed on the GHSA brackets are Buford of Class 7A; Marist and Pope of Class 6A; Greenbrier, Midtown and Northgate of Class 5A; Lovett, Northwest Whitfield and Starr’s Mill of Class 4A; and Bacon County and Metter of Class A Division I.