High school soccer: Lambert, Johns Creek first-year wonders

The Lambert boys had an 8-2 overall record (5-1 in the region) going into Thursday night’s game against White County and are ranked No. 8 in Class AAA in this week’s Georgia High School Soccer Coaches poll. The only losses came against No. 4 Gainesville and Norcross, which is ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAA.

“Our theme for the entire program -- ‘Win Forever!’ -- is the driving force in building a brand new program but also establishing a legacy,” coach Chris Wilson said.

The Longhorns opened their season with consecutive victories against fellow new schools Archer, Mountain View and Johns Creek to win the AAA Inauguration Cup. Lambert’s Brett Godwin, Dale Ashford and Jacob Naviaux made the all-tournament team.

Lambert’s girls have been having similar success. They won eight of their first 10 and climbed to No. 6 in this week’s rankings before losing to No. 3 Creekview on penalty kicks Tuesday night.

The Johns Creek girls team has been even better. Coach Kirsten McMaster’s Gladiators are 9-0 and ranked No. 5, with victories against No. 6 Lambert, No. 7 Grady and No. 10 Riverwood, as well as the girls championship in the AAA Inauguration Cup. The Johns Creek boys are 5-5.

Boys

Carlos McCrary, who led South Cobb in scoring each of the past three seasons, has made a big impact since transferring to Centennial. The University of North Carolina signee has scored 15 goals for the Knights, who are 7-3 and ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAA. McCrary had hat tricks in two of the past three games, including Tuesday night in a 6-0 victory against Kell. “Carlos is the most dangerous goal-scorer I have ever coached,” Centennial coach Phil Thomas said. “He has a different gear than everyone else. Whenever the ball is at his feet, he is a threat to score.” ... Collins Hill is No. 1 nationally for the second consecutive week in the ESPN Fab 50 rankings. The Eagles are trying to become the first Georgia team to finish No. 1 in the 11-year history of the Fab 50 poll.

Girls

Georgia also has the nation’s No. 1 girls team this week in the ESPN Fab 50. Parkview moved into the top spot after the previous top team, Leesville Road of Raleigh, N.C., tied Apex. Parkview, which is No. 8 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings, survived a scare on Tuesday night, beating Grayson on penalty kicks. ... University of Mississippi signee Erin Emerson scored one goal and set up two others as Whitewater, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA, beat rival Starr’s Mill last weekend. The Wildcats, who have outscored their opponents 60-0 this season, face another Fayette County rival Friday night when they travel to second-ranked McIntosh. ... The race for the top spot in 6-AAAAA will begin to take shape Friday night when No. 2 Walton hosts sixth-ranked Lassiter. The teams are tied for first place with No. 7 Pope, which will travel to Lassiter on Tuesday. Walton is coming off its most-lopsided victory of the season, an 8-0 decision against Campbell in which Hayley Smith, Julia Holz and Kendall Saffer scored two goals each.

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