NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Twenty North Fulton and Forsyth County programs will begin their quests for soccer state championships next week in the first round of the state playoffs. Two teams, the Lambert and Chattahoochee boys, will look to repeat as state champions and five squads enter the playoffs after being crowned region champions.
Lambert’s boys and girls programs each dominated Region 5-AAAAAAA to earn the No. 1 seed and both teams enter as the top-ranked programs in Class 7A.
The Lambert boys will look to defend their Class 7A championship status and enter the state tournament with a 16-1 record. The Longhorns went 10-0 in region play and outscored opponents 28-4. Lambert has surrendered just five goals in 17 games.
The Lambert girls proved unbeatable in the regular season, compiling the program’s first undefeated (18-0) regular season record. The Longhorns will seek their second state championship this season after capturing their 2017 state title. After an 8-9-1 season last year, the Longhorns are back in top form and enter the tournament as the team to beat in 7A.
Milton will also be represented by its boys and girls programs.
The Milton boys captured the No. 2 seed from region 5-AAAAAAA behind Lambert and will look to advance beyond the second round for the first time in three seasons.
The Eagles’ girls team, last year’s 7A state runner-up, will travel to face Archer as the No. 3 seed from the region. Milton enters the playoffs having split its last six contests.
Both Forsyth Central teams are also in the playoffs with the boys earning the No. 3 see with the girls as the No. 4 seed.
The Bulldogs’ boys program won six of their last seven games of the regular season while the girls dropped three of their final six with two ties.
The South Forsyth boys will look to make another deep playoff run but will have to do so as the No. 4 seed. The War Eagles, who fell to Lambert in the 2018 Class 7A championship match, take on Region 8 champions South Gwinnett (10-3-2) on the road in the first round.
Despite strong performances throughout the regular season, the Roswell boys and girls teams fell short of region titles in the highly-competitive Region 4-AAAAAAA and will travel to south Georgia in the first round of the playoffs.
Three of the boys’ four total losses came in region play, which relegated the Hornets to the No. 4 seed. They will take on Region 1 champions Lowndes in the first round.
The girls program will look to improve on their run to the state semifinals last year as the No. 3 seed from Region 4. The Hornets won their first seven matches of the year but went 5-5 to close out the regular season in region play and against challenging non-region opponents.
The Johns Creek girls captured their third straight Region 7-AAAAAA championship this season and will look to earn the program’s first state title as the top-ranked girls team entering the playoffs.
The Gladiators compiled a 15-2-1 record this season with an incredible 14 shutouts. Johns Creek reached the state finals in 2017 and the semifinals in 2018 and will look to get over its state championship hump beginning with a first-round matchup at home against Sprayberry.
The Northview girls earned the No. 4 seed from Region 7-AAAAAA by taking down Chattahoochee April 16. The win put the Titans tied with Cambridge and defending state champions Alpharetta at 4-4 in region play, but the Titans earned the final playoff spot through tiebreaking procedures.
Northview is making its first playoff appearance since 2015 and will take on Region 6 champions Harrison.
The Northview boys also earned a playoff berth through tiebreakers. The Titans captured the No. 4 seed over Alpharetta with a win in head-to-head play.
Like the girls squad, the boys are ending a longstanding playoff appearance drought and will take on the Region 6 champions. The Titans face Dalton April 26.
While the Cambridge boys fell short of defending its Region 7-AAAAAA title, the Bears will look to return to the state finals as the No. 3 seed.
The Bears went 12-5 overall in the regular season and enter the playoffs having won five of their last six games. Cambridge reached the state finals for the first time in program history last season. The run included an 8-2 win over Allatoona, the Bears’ challenger in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
Chattahoochee also fell short of the region title, placing second behind Pope, but the Cougars showed last season they care far more about state titles. Hooch lost to Cambridge for the region crown but enacted their revenge by downing the Bears in the 2018 Class 6A state championship match.
For a fourth straight year the Cougars have been one of the top teams to beat in Class 6A and enter the playoffs as the two-time defending state champions currently ranked No. 2 in the state.
Hooch’s only two losses on the season have come to the playoff teams of Roswell and Pope and the team enters the playoffs having outscored opponents 29-4 in its last six games.
The Blessed Trinity boys and girls teams are both in state playoffs again with the boys earning the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAAA and the girls as the No. 3 seed.
The BT boys will look to improve on their run to the third round of the 2018 playoffs, and a challenging non-region schedule could serve them well in the playoffs. The boys host Pickens in the first round.
Despite an 11-3-1 overall record, the Titans girls team will go on the road in the first round against Region 6 No. 2 seed Northwest Whitfield after placing third in the region standings. The BT girls allowed just 10 goals in the regular season.
The 2019 season marks the first year the playoffs in Class A have been separated into private and public brackets, giving local private schools just two representatives from each area.
Despite the reduction in playoff berths for local schools, three teams have earned a shot at making a state title run.
The Mount Pisgah girls made history by capturing the school’s first area championship this season. The Patriots compiled a 12-3-1 overall record and outscored opponents 66-13.
With the Area 6 No. 1 seed, Mount Pisgah hosts Wesleyan in the first round of the playoffs April 23.
The Pinecrest Academy girls also captured an area championship, securing the Area 8 title with an undefeated record against area opponents.
The Paladins enter the state tournament on a four-game win streak and will likely use their offense to rack up goals in the playoffs. Pinecrest averaged four goals per game in the regular season.
King’s Ridge is the only local boys team represented in the Class-A Private bracket with the Tigers placing second in area 6.
King’s Ridge and Fellowship Christian were tied for the final playoff spot with the Tigers earning the postseason berth on tiebreakers.
The Tigers go on the road to face Wesleyan in the first round.