Forsyth, Gwinnett to face off in AAAAAAA semifinals
County bragging rights will be at stake in the Class AAAAAAA girls soccer state tournament Tuesday when Forsyth’s Lambert and South Forsyth meet Gwinnett’s Mill Creek and Grayson in the semifinals.
Lambert (18-3), the No. 1 team in the current Eurosport rankings, advanced with a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Walton on Friday. Freshman Katelyn Castelli scored the only goal when she knocked home a pass from Ellie Prybylski about five minutes into the match. The Longhorns have not allowed a goal in the playoffs, and the shutout was their school-record 15th of the season.
“We’re just not used to giving up goals,” Lambert coach Scott Luthart told the Forsyth County News. “If there is one thing we do consistently well, it’s defend.”
Lambert will host ninth-ranked Mill Creek (15-5), which reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Brookwood. Mill Creek trailed 1-0 early but got goals from Isabel Eigenbauer and Kali Zmistowski midway through the second half. Mill Creek, the No. 3 seed from Region 6, is making the second semifinal appearance in school history.
Eight-ranked Grayson (17-3) reached the semifinals with a 4-2 victory over No. 10 Milton. The Rams have won 15 consecutive matches after starting the season 2-3. Grayson and Milton were tied 2-2 at halftime, but Brown signee Brittany Montgomery scored two second-half goals to secure the victory. Grayson is the only AAAAAAA semifinalist that has won a state championship (2007 and 2015).
Grayson will be at home to face No. 2 South Forsyth (18-3), which beat No. 6 Collins Hill 2-1. South Forsyth is the No. 2 seed from Region 5 behind Lambert and split two regular-season meetings with the Longhorns. Jenna Vollrath and Gabby Tanjuatco scored first-half goals against Collins Hill, which got a goal from Rachel Jones with about 11 minutes to play.
Here’s a look at the third round in the other classifications:
*Class AAAAAA: Cambridge is the only No. 4 seed left standing in any classification after its 2-0 victory over Sequoyah. The Bears will be joined in the semifinals by region champions Johns Creek, Harrison and Lee County. Harrison, the only semifinalist that has won a state championship (2011 and 2014), had the most dramatic victory, beating Pope 1-0 when Averi Visage headed in a corner kick with 1:32 remaining in the game. Lee County, which beat Creekview 2-0, is in the semifinals for the first time in school history.
*Class AAAAA: Flowery Branch outscored Starr’s Mill 6-5 in penalty kicks to eliminate the Panthers, who have has won six state championships, including the 2015 AAAAA title. Starr’s Mill took an early lead on a goal by Meritt Parker, but Flowery Branch’s Morgan Wadsworth scored the equalizer in the 58th minute. Starr’s Mill’s Region 3 rivals McIntosh (2-0 victory over Grady) and top-ranked Whitewater (5-1 over Decatur) both survived. Whitewater will take on No. 2 Buford in the semifinals after the Wolves beat No. 3 Veterans 3-1.
*Class AAAA: Top-ranked Marist and No. 2 St. Pius, which have combined to win 19 state championships, including the past four in AAAA, appear on a collision course to decide this year’s title. St. Pius, which has won four straight state titles in two different classifications, advanced with a 3-0 victory over No. 3 Blessed Trinity, and Marist beat No. 5 Spalding 4-0. Marist beat St. Pius 2-0 in the regular season on March 28. Third-seeded Jefferson remained hot with a 1-0 victory over LaGrange, and second-seeded Chapel Hill beat Oconee County 3-2.
*Class AAA: Greater Atlanta Christian, Westminster, Pace Academy and Lovett have all won at least one state championship in the past five seasons, and one will win another this season as the four metro-Atlanta private schools advanced to the semifinals. Pace Academy allowed the only goal in the third round in its 3-1 victory over Calhoun. The other three teams won 3-0. Both semifinals will be rematches of regular-season games – Westminster beat GAC 7-0 on April 18, and Pace Academy beat Lovett 6-2 on April 13.
*Class AA: The only classification with four region champions in the semifinals is also the only one with without a metro-Atlanta team remaining. Top-ranked St. Vincent’s, which lost to Lovett in the Class AA final last season, improved to 18-1 and earned a return trip to the semifinals with a 6-0 victory over Model. Sarah Stewart set the tone early by scoring both of the Saints’ goals in the first half. St. Vincent’s will face Lamar County, a 3-1 winner over Harlem, and Social Circle will meet East Laurens for a spot in the final.
*Class A: Tenth-ranked Paideia, seeking its second state title in five years, outscored Calvary Day 4-1 on penalty kicks after the teams had played to a scoreless draw through regulation and overtime. Paideia, the No. 2 seed from Area 6, will be joined in the semifinals by area champions top-ranked Wesleyan, No. 2 First Presbyterian and No. 4 Holy Innocents’. First Presbyterian, which will play Paideia, is 21-0 after a 2-0 victory over Pinecrest Academy. The Vikings have outscored their opponents 133-1 this season.
*Scoreboard: Here are the third-round scores and semifinal matchups for all seven classifications.
Lambert 1, Walton 0
Mill Creek 2, Brookwood 1
Grayson 4, Milton 2
South Forsyth 2, Collins Hill 1
(R6 #3) Mill Creek at (R5 #1) Lambert
(R5 #2) South Forsyth at (R8 #1) Grayson
Cambridge 2, Sequoyah 0
Johns Creek 2, Richmond Hill 0
Lee County 2, Creekview 0
Harrison 1, Pope 0
(R7 #4) Cambridge at (R7 #1) Johns Creek
(R1 #1) Lee County at (R6 #1) Harrison
McIntosh 2, Grady 0
Flowery Branch 2, Starr’s Mill 1
Buford 3, Veterans 1
Whitewater 5, Decatur 1
(R3 #2) McIntosh at (R8 #2) Flowery Branch
(R3 #1) Whitewater at (R8 #1) Buford
Jefferson 1, LaGrange 0
Marist 4, Spalding 0
St. Pius 3, Blessed Trinity 0
Chapel Hill 3, Oconee County 2
(R8 #3) Jefferson at (R7 #1) Marist
(R5 #2) Chapel Hill at (R8 #1) St. Pius
Westminster 3, Pike County 0
Greater Atlanta Christian 3, Bremen 0
Lovett 3, Adairsville 0
Pace Academy 3, Calhoun 1
(R5 #1) Westminster at (R7 #1) Greater Atlanta Christian
(R5 #3) Lovett at (R5 #2) Pace Academy
Lamar County 3, Harlem 1
St. Vincent’s 6, Model 0
Social Circle 2, Fitzgerald 1
East Laurens 4, Glenn Hills 2
(R5 #1) Lamar County vs. (R2 #1) St. Vincent’s
(R3 #1) East Laurens at (R8 #1) Social Circle
Paideia 1, Calvary Day 0
First Presbyterian 2, Pinecrest Academy 0
Wesleyan 3, Mount Pisgah Christian 1
Holy Innocents’ 7, Athens Academy 1
(A6 #2) Paideia at (A2 #1) First Presbyterian
(A8 #1) Wesleyan at (A6 #1) Holy Innocents’