GHSA Soccer State Championships: Thursday Recap

Marist and Jefferson went scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation and played out two 10-minute overtime periods before the War Eagles emerged victorious in the battle of attrition. The decisive, game-winning goal came in the first overtime period when freshman Mary Margaret Fligg broke open the stalemate. With the victory, Marist achieved its 11th all-time girls soccer state title and first since 2018. Marist (17-5) did not drop a single game to a Class 4A opponent this season and after Thursday’s overtime thriller, closes out its postseason with a flawless 27-0 scoring advantage.

BOYS

Class 5A

Johnson-Gainesville 4, St. Pius 2

Johnson-Gainesville (21-1-1) avenged its only loss of the year with its 6-5 semifinals victory over Woodward Academy last Friday and overcame a 2-1 second half deficit on Thursday to deny St. Pius a 13th all-time state crown and capture its first state title since 2018 — and second all-time. The Knights scored on an Angel Sagrero rebounded goal, but St. Pius’ 6-foot-5 junior Carter Dixon headed in the equalizer to make it a 1-1 game at half and the score held after Johnson-Gainesville managed three shots on goal in the final two minutes. The teams traded successful penalty kicks and forced a 2-2 tie with 13:57 left and then Kevin Castillo scored the go-ahead goal with 11:16 left and the Knights added their insurance goal with just 45 seconds left for the final tally.

Class 4A

Southeast Whitfield 2, Northwest Whitfield 1

Defending state champion Southeast Whitfield previously defeated its Region 7 rival Northwest Whitfield 3-2 in overtime during the regular season and successfully completed the season sweep in Thursday’s championship rematch to win the aptly named “Battle of Soccertown” and secured its third all-time state crown. The Raiders took a 1-0 halftime lead following a Diego Castillo goal just before the break. Northwest tied it up with a Matthew Molina goal early in the second half and then a red card left Southeast Whitfield a man down for the remainder of the match. Southeast head coach Hector Holguin inserted junior forward Diego Ramirez as his first sub of the match and minutes later he intercepted a pass from an awaiting Bruin and outpaced their last line of defense before firing in the game-winning goal in heroic fashion.

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