Girls soccer championship games filled with familiar faces

The most successful girls soccer program in GHSA history won’t be around, but many of Georgia’s other perennial title contenders will be on hand when the eight state champions are crowned this week at three sites over four days, beginning Tuesday with games at Mercer University and McEachern High School.

Westminster had its bid for a ninth consecutive state championship come to an end when it lost 1-0 in the Class 4A semifinals to North Oconee, which avenged a 2-1 loss to the Wildcats in last year’s final. Westminster’s eight straight state titles are a state record, as are its 16 overall titles. The Wildcats had won 43 consecutive playoff games since a 2-1 loss to Lovett in the 2014 Class 2A semifinals.

North Oconee won the Class 4A championship in 2021 and lost to Marist in the 2022 semifinals. The Titans will face Lovett on Wednesday at Duluth High School.

North Oconee and Lovett are two of 12 girls teams, out of 16 finalists, that have won at least one state championship. Seven of those have won two or more, led by Marist with 11 and Lovett with five. Lake Oconee Academy (Class A Division II), Mount Paran Christian (2A), Cambridge (5A) and Buford (7A) are seeking their first championships. Overall, the 16 finalists have accounted for 33 championships.

Four reigning state champions made their way back to the finals. They are Roswell of Class 6A, Oconee County of Class 3A, Fellowship Christian of Class 2A and Aquinas of Class A Division II. Those were the first state titles for Roswell, Oconee County and Aquinas. Fellowship Christian previously won in 2016.

Roswell will play top-ranked Marist in a rematch of last year’s final, which Roswell won 2-0 to complete a perfect run through the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. This year, Roswell was a No. 2 seed and got a scare in the semifinals, defeating Lassiter on penalty kicks after a scoreless game.

The Hornets finished in second place in Region 7-6A behind Pope, which lost to Marist on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. That was the only close game in the playoffs for Marist, which outscored Lee County, Grovetown and John’s Creek 25-1 in its other three games. Roswell lost to Pope 2-0 on March 8 in the game that decided the region title.

Top-ranked Oconee County and No. 2 Wesleyan have been on a collision course all season, and both made it to the final. Oconee County defeated the Wolves 2-0 in last year’s Class 3A semifinals. The Warriors have not allowed a goal in the playoffs but had to survive 1-0 games against Savannah Country Day and Dawson County in the previous two rounds. Wesleyan’s closest game was a 3-1 victory over Columbus in the semifinals.

Fellowship Christian will play Mount Paran Christian, a semifinalist last year, for the Class 2A title. Fellowship Christian has outscored its four playoff opponents 36-1. Mount Paran has knocked off the two top public-school teams in 2A, beating Fitzgerald and Model by 4-2 scores in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

The Class A Division II final will be a rematch between Area 3 rivals Lake Oconee Academy and Aquinas. Lake Oconee Academy won the regular-season matchup 3-2 on March 26 and was the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Aquinas defeated the No. 3 seed from the area, Towns County, 1-0 in the semifinals.

In Class 7A, top-ranked Buford will seek its first title when it faces West Forsyth, which won championships in 2021 and 2022. Buford (21-0-1) kept its unbeaten season alive with a semifinal victory over Walton. The Wolves scored off a free kick with 48 seconds left in regulation for a 1-1 tie and eventually won 3-2 on penalty kicks. The Wolves have outscored their opponents 102-3 this season. West Forsyth is 20-0-2, with ties against Westminster and Cambridge.

The other championship matchups are Greater Atlanta Christian against Cambridge in Class 5A and Social Circle against Paideia in Class A Division I. The GAC-Cambridge game is a rematch of their regular-season game, which Cambridge won 3-1 to secure the Region 6-4A title. Paideia eliminated Social Circle 6-0 in the semifinals in 2023. Social Circle knocked out defending champion Mount Vernon 5-3 in this year’s semifinals.

Championship game schedule

(All games begin at 5 p.m.)


Class A Division II: Aquinas vs. Lake Oconee Academy (at Mercer)

Class A Division I: Social Circle vs. Paideia (at McEachern)


Class 2A: Fellowship Christian vs. Mount Paran Christian (at Mercer)

Class 3A: Oconee County vs. Wesleyan (at McEachern)

Class 4A: Lovett vs. North Oconee (at Duluth)


Class 5A: Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Cambridge (at Duluth)

Class 6A: Roswell vs. Marist (at McEachern)


Class 7A: Buford vs. West Forsyth (at Duluth)