Boys Soccer: Whitefield Academy takes Class A crown 2-1 over Walker
In the Class A boys soccer state championship, Whitefield Academy rallied back from a 1-0 deficit with two second half goals to clinch the program’s first state title Friday Mercer University in Macon.
“I cannot believe that we are where we are right now,” said Whitefield coach Steve Hellier following the game. “This has just been and unbelievable ride and there are so many things that could have happened and kept us from this, but here we are state champions.”
The teams remained scoreless as the second half opened and Walker struck first with a goal by freshman Nick Rath just two minutes into the half. Whitefield Academy re-adjusted their second half game plan following the Rath goal and successfully stole the momentum with a pair of goals just minutes apart.
“The adjustment we made was a disaster because they came out and scored within two minutes of the game. So then, we adjusted back to the original lineup that we had,” explained coach Hellier.
The tying goal came at the 31-minute mark on a penalty-kick goal from the coach’s son, senior William Hellier.
“It is incredible to see the growth of this program,” said William Hellier. “From not having a team to having a team our freshman year that went 4-12 and now state champions. I am so proud of these guys.”
The game-winning goal came at the 29:30 mark on a give-and-go from Hellier to West Peterson and Walker could not answer in the final 30 minutes.
Walker had scoring opportunities throughout the second half but Whitefield’s junior goalkeeper John Matherne, who had seven saves on the day, kept the one-goal lead intact.