8 No. 1-ranked teams, 6 defending champions reach girls soccer quarterfinals


All eight No. 1-ranked teams, six reigning state champions and five upset-minded No. 4 seeds are among the 64 teams heading to the quarterfinals of the high school girls soccer playoffs, which begin Monday night.

The 32 quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals, which begin Thursday.

Here are some of the top stories from the first two rounds and beyond:

*Top-ranked teams: Top-ranked teams Buford (7A), Marist (6A), Jefferson (5A), Lovett (4A), Oconee County (3A), Model (2A), Social Circle (A Division I) and Aquinas (A Division II) all made it safely through the first two rounds. Marist and Oconee County have the toughest quarterfinal matchups, at least on paper. Marist faces No. 3 Pope, and Oconee County takes on No. 3 Savannah Country Day. Other top quarterfinal games include No. 2 Harrison vs. No. 3 North Gwinnett in 7A; No. 2 Roswell vs. No. 4 North Atlanta in 6A; No. 1 Model vs. No. 5 Savannah Arts in 2A; No. 1 Social Circle vs. No. 4 East Laurens in A Division I; and No. 2 Aquinas vs. No. 3 Portal in A Division II.

*Defending champs: Denmark of Class 7A and Chamblee of Class 5A had their hopes of repeating as state champions dashed with second-round losses. Denmark, unranked and seeded No. 2 out of Region 6, lost to seventh-ranked Walton in a rematch of last year’s championship game, which Denmark won 1-0. Ninth-ranked Chamblee won the past two Class 5A tournaments but fell to No. 4 Greater Atlanta Christian 2-1. Defending champions Roswell (6A), Westminster (4A), Oconee County (3A) Fellowship Christian (2A), Mount Vernon (A Division I) and Aquinas (A Division II) remain alive.

*Premature exits: No. 2 Midtown of Class 5A and No. 3 Whitefield Academy of Class A Division I are the highest-ranked teams that have been eliminated, but neither loss would be considered a major upset. Midtown lost to fourth-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian 2-1 in the second round. Midtown was a semifinalist last year. Whitefield Academy also lost in the second round, falling 4-3 against top-ranked Social Circle. Last year, Whitefield Academy lost 2-1 in the first round to Social Circle, which went on to reach the semifinals.

*No. 4 seeds: Five teams seeded No. 4 advanced to the quarterfinals, up from three in 2023. Two of them – Johns Creek and Riverwood – are in Class 6A, and they will play each other in the quarterfinals. Johns Creek defeated Region 6 champion Allatoona and Gainesville in the first two rounds, while Riverwood beat Region 1 champion Thomas County Central and Lakeside-Evans. Other No. 4 seeds still alive are Northside-Columbus of Class 5A, LaGrange of 4A and Atlanta International of Class A Division I.

*The finals: The 16 teams that survive this week will face off in the state finals, which begin on May 7 (all girls finals will start at 5 p.m.) The Class A finals will be played on May 7, with Division I at McEachern High School and Division II at Mercer. The schedule for May 8 includes the championships in Class 2A (at Mercer), Class 3A (at McEachern) and Class 4A (at Duluth High School). The Class 5A (at Duluth) and Class 6A (at McEachern) champs will be crowned on May 9, and the 7A final will be at Duluth on May 10.

*Quarterfinal matchups:

Class 7A

(R2 #1) Campbell at (R5 #1) Walton

(R3 #1) Hillgrove at (R8 #1) Buford

(R3 #2) Harrison at (R7 #1) North Gwinnett

(R3 #3) North Paulding at (R6 #1) West Forsyth

Class 6A

(R4 #3) St. Pius at (R7 #3) Lassiter

(R4 #2) North Atlanta at (R7 #2) Roswell

(R7 #1) Pope at (R4 #1) Marist

(R7 #4) Johns Creek at (R4 #4) Riverwood

Class 5A

(R3 #4) Northside-Columbus at (R6 #2) Greater Atlanta Christian

(R3 #1) Northgate at (R8 #1) Jefferson

(R8 #2) Loganville at (R3 #2) McIntosh

(R6 #1) Cambridge at (R1 #1) Greenbrier

Class 4A

(R2 #1) Perry at (R5 #1) Lovett

(R4 #2) Whitewater at (R8 #1) Cherokee Bluff

(R8 #2) North Oconee at (R4 #1) Starr’s Mill

(R4 #4) LaGrange at (R6 #1) Westminster

Class 3A

(R7 #3) Dawson County at (R2 #1) Pike County

(R3 #1) Savannah Country Day at (R8 #1) Oconee County

(R3 #2) St. Vincent’s at (R7 #1) Wesleyan

(R6 #1) Bremen at (R1 #1) Columbus

Class 2A

(R2 #1) ACE Charter at (R5 #1) Landmark Christian

(R3 #1) Pierce County at (R8 #1) Fellowship Christian

(R3 #2) Savannah Arts at (R7 #1) Model

(R6 #1) Mount Paran Christian at (R1 #1) Fitzgerald

Class A Division I

(R2 #1) East Laurens at (R5 #1) Social Circle

(R6 #3) Mount Vernon at (R3 #1) Metter

(R6 #4) Atlanta International at (R4 #1) Lamar County

(R2 #2) Bleckley County at (R6 #1) Paideia

Class A Division II

(A3 #2) Aquinas at (A2 #1) Portal

(A3 #3) Towns County at (A1 #1) Hawkinsville

(A2 #2) Wheeler County at (A3 #1) Lake Oconee Academy

(A2 #3) Johnson County at (A4 #1) Atlanta Classical