Girls soccer blog: Denmark, Buford fall; remaining No. 1 teams roll into semifinals

ajc.com

Two undefeated, top-ranked teams in search of their first state titles in girls soccer had their seasons come to an end Monday when they lost in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.

Denmark (19-1), ranked No. 1 nationally among spring teams by the United Soccer Coaches and the top-ranked team in Class 7A, suffered its first loss of the season when it fell to third-ranked Walton 2-1 in overtime. Molly Chapman scored the game-winner in the second half of overtime after Walton’s Nicole Lazarakis and Denmark’s Jordyn Crosby had goals in regulation.

Walton will meet No. 9 Mill Creek on Thursday, when the semifinals in each classification will be played. Mill Creek advanced with a 3-0 victory against North Paulding. No. 10 West Forsyth will travel to Alpharetta for the other Class 7A semifinal.

Walton, which is in the semis for the second consecutive season, is seeking its first title since 1993, the second year in which the GHSA crowned a state champion in the sport.

Buford (20-1), the top-ranked team in Class 6A, was eliminated with a 1-0 loss to No. 6 Chattahoochee, which got the game’s only goal on a penalty kick by Jessica Askey midway through the first half. It was just the third goal allowed by Buford this season and ended the Wolves’ 16-match shutout streak.

“I’m so proud of the season and the way these girls fought,” Buford coach Megan Hill told Will Hammock of the Gwinnett Daily Post. “Obviously, allowing only two goals, now three, it’s big. It’s big for our goalkeepers. I’m looking to the future and I see almost my entire team is coming back, which is exciting. Hopefully, they can learn from this.”

Chattahoochee, which travels Thursday to Region 6 champion Lassiter, is one of three remaining Region 7-6A teams, as River Ridge and Cambridge will meet in the other semifinal.

The favorites in the other six classifications continued to roll. Top-ranked Chamblee, North Oconee, Westminster, Lovett, Pinecrest Academy and Social Circle won their quarterfinal games by a combined score of 36-3.

Two classifications will feature a semifinal matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Chamblee will face No. 2 Blessed Trinity in Class 5A, and North Oconee will take on No. 2 Marist in Class 4A.

Westminster of Class 3A, which overwhelmed fourth-ranked Jackson 10-0 in the semifinals, is now two victories away from its state-record seventh consecutive championship (and state-best 15th overall). The Wildcats will be at home Thursday night against No. 3 Cherokee Bluff, with the winner taking on No. 2 Greater Atlanta Christian or No. 6 Oconee County in the final.

The championship games will be played May 3-6 at McEachern High School and Mercer University.

Here are the quarterfinal results and the semifinal matchups:

Class 7A

Quarterfinal scores

Alpharetta 2, Peachtree Ridge 0

West Forsyth 3, Dunwoody 2

Walton 2, Denmark 1

Mill Creek 3, North Paulding 0

Semifinal matchups

(R6 #2) West Forsyth at (R5 #1) Alpharetta

(R8 #1) Mill Creek at (R3 #1) Walton

Class 6A

Quarterfinal scores

River Ridge 4, Richmond Hill 2

Cambridge 6, Pope 0

Lassiter 1, Johns Creek 0

Chattahoochee 1, Buford 0

Semifinal matchups

(R7 #4) River Ridge at (R7 #1) Cambridge

(R7 #2) Chattahoochee at (R6 #1) Lassiter

Class 5A

Quarterfinal scores

Chamblee 6, McIntosh 2

Blessed Trinity 3, Northgate 0

Midtown 2, St. Pius 1

Decatur 3, Jackson County 2

Semifinal matchups

(R7 #1) Blessed Trinity at (R5 #1) Chamblee

(R5 #3) Decatur at (R6 #1) Midtown

Class 4A

Quarterfinal scores

Jefferson 10, Luella 0

Northwest Whitfield 2, Madison County 0

Marist 6, Southeast Whitfield 0

North Oconee 4, Heritage-Catoosa 0

Semifinal matchups

(R8 #2) Jefferson at (R7 #1) Northwest Whitfield

(R8 #1) North Oconee at (R6 #1) Marist

Class 3A

Quarterfinal scores

Westminster 10, Jackson 0

Cherokee Bluff 7, Morgan County 1

Greater Atlanta Christian 5, Mary Persons 0

Oconee County 2, Lumpkin County 0

Semifinal matchups

(R7 #1) Cherokee Bluff at (R5 #1) Westminster

(R5 #2) Greater Atlanta Christian at (R8 #1) Oconee County

Class 2A

Quarterfinal scores

Bremen 10, Jeff Davis 0

Pace Academy 8, Fannin County 0

Lovett 6, Lamar County 0

Fitzgerald 4, Union County 2

Semifinal matchups

(R6 #2) Pace Academy at (R5 #1) Bremen

(R1 #1) Fitzgerald at (R6 #1) Lovett

Class A Private

Quarterfinal scores

Holy Innocents’ 5, Paideia 0

Brookstone 2, Atlanta International 1

Pinecrest Academy 3, Wesleyan 1

Athens Academy 8, Stratford Academy 2

Semifinal matchups

(R4 #1) Brookstone at (R5 #1) Holy Innocents’

(R8 #1) Athens Academy at (R6 #1) Pinecrest Academy

Class A Public

Quarterfinal scores

Commerce 10, Claxton 0

Towns County 1, ACE Charter 0

Atlanta Classical 10, Screven County 0

Social Circle 7, Metter 0

Semifinal matchups

(R8 #3) Towns County at (R8 #2) Commerce

(R8 #1) Social Circle at (R6 #1) Atlanta Classical