It’s ranked vs. ranked in the GHSA boys soccer quarterfinals

Credit: GHSA

Credit: GHSA

There are 64 programs alive and each stand three victories away from a coveted state championship. Seven defending champions are entering Tuesday’s matches which feature ranked-versus-ranked, runners up trying to return to the championship after last year’s title loss and some teams are just happy to be playing soccer at the end of April.

Welcome to the quarterfinals.

The champions still playing are Lambert (7A), Lassiter (6A), Dalton (5A), Johnson-Gainesville (4A), Coahulla Creek (3A), Paideia (A-Division I) and Christian Heritage (A-Division II). Tattnall County, the Class 2A champion, lost in the opening round.

There are 14 quarterfinals matches where each opponent is ranked highlighted by No. 2 Discovery at No. 6 Grayson (7A), No. 2 Johns Creek at No. 6 North Atlanta (6A), No. 3 Dalton at No. 1 McIntosh (5A), No. 5 Whitewater at No. 1 Johnson-Gainesville (4A), and No. 1 Savannah Country Day at No. 3 Hebron Christian (3A).

The best matchup is arguably No. 5 Dalton at No. 1 McIntosh in Class 5A. McIntosh enters the quarterfinals 20-0 and coming off playoff victories over Dutchtown 6-0 and Cross Keys 2-1 while Dalton is 15-4-1 and has beaten Kell 2-1 and Clarke Central 2-1.

In the past decade, Dalton has won six championships with three-straight from 2013-2015 and shared a title with Heritage in 2003. McIntosh has eight overall championships and five since 2013. In 2013-2014, McIntosh won the 5A championships while Dalton repeated as the Class 4A champion before winning the 5A title in 2015. In 2019 and 2021 (Covid-19 won all titles in the 2020 season) Dalton won the 6A championships while McIntosh won the 5A titles.

Runners up vying for another title berth after a loss in the championship game last season are 6A No. 1 River Ridge (3-2 loss to Lassiter), 5A Midtown (2-0 loss to Dalton), 4A No. 2 Westminster (4-2 loss to Johnson-Gainesville), 3A No. 2 Oconee County (1-0 loss to Coahulla Creek), 2A Providence Christian 3-2 loss to Tattnall County), A Division I No. 1 Atlanta International (2-1 loss to Paideia), A Division II No. 1 Georgia Military (2-1 loss to Christian Heritage).

Around the state, unranked teams were either underappreciated in the polls or the soccer talent pool around the state has deepened. But not all teams entered the playoffs ranked in their respective top 10′s and have carved quarterfinal appearances out of postseason runs.

In the state’s highest class, Campbell hosts No. 3 Lambert and Kennesaw Mountain plays at Colquitt County. Woodward Academy hosts No. 3 Sprayberry, Glynn Academy hosts No. 7 Lassiter and No. 1 River Ridge hosts Riverwood in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

In Class 5A, Eagle’s Landing travels to Midtown and Tucker hosts No. 4 Cass. In Class 4A, LaGrange travels to Northwest Whitfield and Bainbridge hosts No. 2 Westminster. Morgan County hosts No. 2 Oconee County in Class 3A. In Class 2A, Fellowship travels to Fitzgerald, No. 2 Toombs hosts Drew Charter and No. 5 Jeff Davis travels to Providence Christian. In Class A Division I, Lamar County hosts No. 3 Whitefield Academy and Jefferson County travels to No. 1 Atlanta International. In Class A Division II, Macon County travels to No. 1 Georgia Military and Echols County travels to No. 4 Christian Heritage.

See the quarterfinals schedule below or follow the link to the full brackets.

Class 7A Quarterfinals schedule

No. 3 Lambert at Campbell

No. 5 Milton at No. 7 Archer

No. 2 Discovery at No. 6 Grayson

Kennesaw Mountain at Colquitt

Class 6A Quarterfinals schedule

No. 7 Lassiter at Glynn Academy

No. 3 Sprayberry at Woodward Academy

No. 2 Johns Creek at No. 6 North Atlanta

Riverwood at No. 1 River Ridge

Class 5A Quarterfinals schedule

Eagle’s Landing at Midtown

No. 3 Dalton at No. 1 McIntosh

No. 4 Cass at Tucker

No. 10 Decatur at No. 9 Chattahoochee

Class 4A Quarterfinals schedule

LaGrange at Northwest Whitfield

No. 5 Whitewater at No. 1 Johnson-Gainesville

Holy Innocents’ at No. 3 Starr’s Mill

No. 2 Westminster at Bainbridge

Class 3A Quarterfinals schedule

No. 6 Bremen at No. 8 Pike County

No. 1 Savannah Country Day at No. 3 Hebron Christian

No. 2 Oconee County at Morgan County

No. 7 Coahulla Creek at No. 5 Columbus

Class 2A Quarterfinals schedule

Fellowship Christian at Fitzgerald

Drew Charter at No. 2 Toombs County

No. 9 Pierce County at No. 1 Model

No. 5 Jeff Davis at Providence Christian

Class A Division I Quarterfinals schedule

No. 6 East Laurens at No. 5 Paideia

No. 8 Mt. Vernon at No. 7 Woodville-Tompkins

No. 3 Whitefield Academy at Lamar County

Jefferson County at No. 1 Atlanta International

Class A Division II Quarterfinals schedule

No. 9 Atlanta Classical at No. 10 Wheeler County

No. 7 Fugees at No. 5 Atkinson County

Macon County at No. 1 Georgia Military

Echols at No. 4 Christian Heritage