GHSA Soccer State Championships: AAA boys and girls, AAAA girls/AA boys recaps
The second set of four title games of the GHSA Soccer State Championships took place Friday at two locations – Mercer University in Macon and McEachern High School in Powder Springs – as the Class AAA boys and girls, the AAAA girls and AA boys finished their seasons.
Class AAA At McEachern
AAA Girls: Westminster 3, Lovett 1
Westminster successfully defended its AAA title for the fifth-straight year after beating rival Lovett in overtime at McEachern. The Wildcats have won 13 girls soccer titles – 1996, 1998, 2002-06, 2013, 2015-19. Westminster’s Talia Staude started scoring with 52 seconds left in the first half on a put-back on a free kick to push the Wildcats ahead. Lovett responded with a goal from freshman forward Elke Gill with 32:08 left in regulation to tie the match where it would remain at the end of regulation. Westminster controlled the pace in overtime and netted two goals to seal the victory. Tori Penn gave Westminster the 2-1 lead with a sneaky goal after she caught the Lovett goalkeeper standing. Riley Patton scored the final goal for Westminster to put the game out of reach.
AAA Boys: Westminster 4, Coahulla Creek 0
Westminster won its 14th boys soccer title while successfully defending its AAA crown for the third-straight year after defeating Coahulla Creek. The Wildcats did all the scoring in the first half and then held on for the victory. Weyimi Agbeyegbe netted a goal at 11:07 in the first half to get Westminster going. Ryan Schaufele added a goal at the 21:25 mark in first half to push the lead. Michael Johnson added a score at 25:52 and Charlie Ham tacked on a goal just two minutes later to make it a four-goal spread. The Wildcats won titles in 1966-67, 1976, 1982-83, 2001, 2006-07, 2011-13 and the past three seasons.
Class AAAA girls and AA boys At Mercer University
AAAA Girls: St. Pius 6, Flowery Branch 0
St. Pius X won its 12th girls soccer title, sixth of the last seven and nine of the last 11 championships after beating Flowery Branch in a dominant performance. The Golden Lions won their first girls soccer title in 1998, tied Marist in 2001 and then won in 2002, 2009-11, 2013-17 and this year. Pius took a 2-0 lead at the break before it unleashed an offensive flurry in the second half led by Renee Lyles. Helen Cherry put the Golden Lions up on a score at the 35:55 mark in the first half and Lyles extended the lead at 39:02 to give Pius a 2-0 lead at intermission. Clare Gornowicz pushed the lead to 3-0 on a goal with 35:42 left in the game. Lyles netted a goal with 18:30 left to push the lead and sealed her hattrick by scoring with 11:51 left in the match. Pius tacked on an insurance goal in the final minutes to put the game out of reach.
AA Boys: Thomasville 1(4), Union County 1(2)
Thomasville won its second soccer title after outscoring Union County four goals to two in penalty kicks. The Bulldogs captured their first title with an AA/A championship in 2010. In regulation, Union County took a 1-0 lead on a score from Andrew Geyer with 26:48 left before intermission. Thomasville responded with a goal from Brian Smith with 5:19 left in the first half and the teams entered the break tied. After a scoreless second half, neither team could find a goal in the 15-minute overtime period which sent the contest to penalty kicks. Thomasville connected on its first four penalty kicks while Union County was stopped twice by the Bulldog goalkeeper which sealed the victory.