Boys Soccer Blog: Semifinals feature the cream of the crop

ajc.com

The boys soccer semifinals are full of teams with as much postseason prowess as you could hope to find. The programs still alive in the boys have won a total of 61 combined soccer titles since the GHSA began awarding state titles in 1966.

The field of contenders features storied programs and hungry teams hoping for postseason glory.

If we are counting trophies, Westminster, the 2017-2019 3A champions, has won 14 championships, and since soccer’s inception as a GHSA sport, the Wildcats have almost always been the team to beat. The team won the inaugural championship in 1966 and defended its title a year later. Another 3A program, Greater Atlanta Christian, has five titles but none since the Spartans won back-to-back titles in 2014-2015.

West Hall, the 2015 3A champion, will play GAC in the semis, and Westminster will travel to Oconee County.

Harrison is the only 7A team alive to have won a title (2007), while Hillgrove, Pebblebrook and Campbell each enter the semifinals looking for the programs’ first title. Hillgrove will travel to Pebblebrook, and Harrison will host Campbell.

St. Pius X, a 5A semifinalist, has 12 state titles but hasn’t won since the team won four consecutive from 2013-2016. The Golden Lions will play host to Blessed Trinity in the semis. Across the bracket, four-time champion Woodward will be a serious challenge and will be at home against host Johnson-Gainesville, the 2018 5A champion, in the semis.

Pace Academy, the Class 2A defending champions, have two titles (2006) and will travel to Bremen to try for a title berth. Lovett, another 2A semifinalist, has seven soccer titles but has not won a state championship since 2003. The Lions will be at home against Coosa.

In Class 4A, two-time champion Southeast Whitfield will travel to top-ranked Columbus, and 2018 4A champion Northwest Whitfield will host East Hall.

In Class A Public, two-time defending champion Georgia Military will travel to Dalton Academy, and Lake Oconee Academy will host Drew Charter. Dalton, Drew and Lake Oconee have never won state championships.

Atlanta International, the 2015 Class A champion, will host St. Anne Pacelli in the semis, and Athens Academy, which won back-to-back Class A titles in 2000 and 2001, will travel to Pinecrest Academy.

Dalton, the 6A defending champions, has won six titles, including the past two years (in 2020 COVID cancelled the season). The Catamounts won five of the team’s six titles since 2013.

Semifinals schedule

Class 7A Semifinals (April 29)

R3 #3 Hillgrove at R2 #1 Pebblebrook

R2 #2 Campbell at R3 #1 Harrison

Class 6A Semifinals (April 29)

R7 #1 River Ridge at R5 #1 Dalton

R8 #1 Central Gwinnett at R6 #1 Lassiter

Class 5A Semifinals (April 29)

R7 #1 Blessed Trinity at R5 #1 St. Pius X

R8 #1 Johnson-Gainesville at R3 #1 Woodward Academy

Class 4A Semifinals (April 29)

R7 #1 Southeast Whitfield at R2 #1 Columbus

R8 #4 East Hall at R7 #2 Northwest Whitfield

Class 3A Semifinals (April 29)

R7 #1 West Hall at R5 #1 Greater Atlanta Christian

R5 #2 Westminster at R8 #1 Oconee County

Class 2A Semifinals (April 29)

R6 #2 Pace Academy at R5 #1 Bremen

R7 #2 Coosa at R6 #1 Lovett

Class A Public Semifinals (April 29)

R6 #2 Drew Charter at R8 #2 Lake Oconee Academy

R7 #2 Georgia Military at R6 #1 Dalton Academy

Class A Private Semifinals (April 29)

R4 #1 St Anne-Pacelli at R5 #1 Atlanta International

R8 #1 Athens Academy at R6 #1 Pinecrest Academy