State soccer players reach semifinals

Here is a primer for the semifinals of the state high school soccer playoffs that resume on Tuesday (girls) and Wednesday (boys):

Boys

Class AAAAAA: No. 8 Berkmar is making its first semifinals appearance after winning Region 8 and defeating North Cobb 6-0 in the quarterfinals. No. 5 Harrison advanced by defeating second-ranked Centennial 2-1, Nathan Vickroy scoring the deciding goal with six minutes left. No. 9 Collins Hill, winner of three of the last four state titles, is back in the semifinals despite losing six key players to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in the offseason.

Class AAAAA: McIntosh is ranked No. 1 in the nation by NSCAA.com and has scored three or more goals in each game since March 1. Senior goalie Sergio Saleh heads a tight defense that has given up two goals all season.

Class AAAA: Three of the four semifinalists are from Whitfield County. No. 1 Dalton (20-0) heads the group, all three of which are from Region 7.

Class AAA: No. 1 St. Pius has not allowed a goal in the playoffs.

Class AA: Region 6 has three teams in the semis. Buckhead rivals Lovett and Westminster are joined by Greater Atlanta Christian.

Class A: No. 1 Paidiea is led by Eli Pinner, who has 37 career goals.

Girls

Class AAAAAA: Unranked South Forsyth is a bit of a dark horse after losing its last two regular season games and three of its last five. Rachel Shah scored four goals in the quarterfinals for the War Eagles. No. 1 Harrison plays No. 6 Brookwood, which beat the Hoyas 2-0 in a preseason exhibition.

Class AAAAA: All four semifinalists are from Region 4, led by No. 1 Whitewater, which went 10-0 in region play. McIntosh won the past two Class AAAA titles and leads the state with eight state championships.

Class AAAA: No. 1 Marist has won its three playoff games by a combined score of 28-0 and is the highest-ranked Georgia girls team in the NSCAA.com rankings at No. 7.

Class AAA: The final four is made up of all metro Atlanta teams, including three from Region 6. Combined, the four teams — St. Pius, Buford, Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity — have given up two goals in the playoffs.

Class AA: All four semifinalists hail from Region 6. Wesleyan finished 0-6 in region play, but won its three playoff games to advance.

Class A: Two-time defending state champion First Presbyterian (17-1-2) has not lost to an in-state team all year and has defeated every Class A opponent.

Semifinals schedule

Girls

Tuesday

Class AAAAAA

South Forsyth at Parkview

Brookwood at Harrison

Class AAAAA

Starr’s Mill at Whitewater

McIntosh at Northgate

Class AAAA

Columbus at Veterans

Marist at Heritage-Catoosa

Class AAA

St. Pius at Buford

Woodward Academy at Blessed Trinity

Class AA

Wesleyan at Greater Atlanta Christian

Lovett at Westminster

Class A

First Presbyterian at Paideia

Fellowship Christian at Aquinas

Boys

Wednesday

Class AAAAAA

Berkmar at East Coweta

Harrison at Collins Hill

Class AAAAA

Starr’s Mill at Houston County

Pope at McIntosh

Class AAAA

Southeast Whitfield at Northwest Whitfield

Spalding at Dalton

Class AAA

Woodward Academy at East Hall

Oconee County at St. Pius

Class AA

Lovett at Westminster

Greater Atlanta Christian at Calhoun

Class A

First Presbyterian Day at Hebron Christian

Savannah Christian at Paideia

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