Soccer: Four defending champions go for another title

Four defending champions and 12 teams looking for their first title will have their shots at the state’s top prize in high school soccer when the tournament finals are held this weekend.

Westminster’s boys and the girls teams from McIntosh, Blessed Trinity and First Presbyterian will try to defend their 2011 titles, and two of them will have to do it against teams they beat in last year’s finals.

The McIntosh (19-2-1) girls will play Whitewater (18-0-1) for the sixth time in two seasons. McIntosh beat the Wildcats on penalty kicks in last year’s AAAA final, but Whitewater has won both meetings with the Chiefs this season. Blessed Trinity (15-3-2) faces a rematch in AA with Greater Atlanta Christian (17-2-1), which lost 1-0 in the final last season and 3-2 on penalty kicks when it faced the Titans earlier this season.

First Presbyterian’s girls (20-1) will travel to Fellowship Christian (13-2-2) for the Class A title. Both teams advanced with penalty-kick victories in the semifinals.

The Westminster boys (16-4-2) will be seeking their 10th state title when they face top-ranked Blessed Trinity in the Class AA final. Blessed Trinity (19-1-2), which is ranked No. 1 and seeking its first championship, beat the Wildcats 1-0 on March 29.

In Class AAAAA, Centennial’s boys (20-1-1) travel to Collins Hill (17-4) in search of their first championship in a rematch of the 2009 AAAAA final. The host Eagles are making their fifth consecutive finals appearance and seeking their third title in four years. Both teams suffered one-goal regular-season losses to Lassiter.

The Class AAAAA girls will have a first-time champion as Milton hosts Northview in an all-north Fulton final. Milton (20-1) has spent most of the season ranked No. 1 and beat Northview 2-1 last month. Northview (13-6-1) knocked out defending champion Harrison in the semifinals.

Lambert’s boys (21-0), who avenged a 2011 playoff loss to McIntosh with a 3-0 win Tuesday, look to complete a perfect season against visiting Greenbrier (20-1) in AAAA. It’s the first time since 2008 that the AAAA final has no team from Fayette County.

In Class AAA, Woodward Academy’s boys (17-3-1) lost in the 2011 final but have a chance to finish the job in 2012 when they visit Gainesville Saturday. Gainesville is seeking its second title in three years after ousting defending champ St. Pius in the semifinals. Allatoona and Columbus will meet for the AA girls title. It would be the first championship for either school.

Aquinas (16-2-1), which won the 2005 Class A boys title, visits Atlanta International (15-4-2) in the Class A final.

STATE SOCCER FINALS

Boys

AAAAA: Centennial at Collins Hill, 8 p.m. Friday

AAAA: Greenbrier at Lambert, 7:30 p.m. Friday

AAA: Woodward Academy at Gainesville, 7 p.m. Saturday

AA: Westminster at Blessed Trinity, 8:30 p.m. Friday

A: Aquinas at Atlanta International, 7:15 p.m. Friday

Girls

AAAAA: Northview at Milton, 8 p.m. Saturday

AAAA: McIntosh at Whitewater, 7 p.m. Saturday

AAA: Columbus at Allatoona, 1 p.m. Saturday

AA: GAC at Blessed Trinity, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

A: First Presbyterian at Fellowship Christian, 6 p.m. Saturday

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