The boys team won Region 5AAAAA, the girls came in second. Both teams got past their first round opponents, despite not playing their very best soccer. Now they will have tougher opponents waiting for them in the second.
The fifth-ranked boys will be hosting ninth-ranked Tucker on Wednesday and the fifth-ranked girls, also the reigning Class AAA state champions, will travel to No. 4-ranked Lakeside DeKalb today.
Both teams Allatoona is facing are strong up front and Lakeside has yet to lose a game.
For the Allatoona girls (12-5-1) to hand Lakeside its first loss, the Lady Buccaneers must contain forward Brittanie Evans, one of the strongest forwards in Class AAAAA.
“Apparently, their forward up top, she’s got accolades out the wazoo,” Allatoona girls coach Bill Perry said. “If our defense is not keeping an eye on her, she’s liable to light it up.”
The Lady Buccaneers came from behind to beat Heritage-Conyers 3-1 in the opening round following a slow-start. After falling behind, Suzanne Arafa tied it before Willough Davis scored two goals to seal it.
Heritage played Lakeside to a scoreless tie in the regular season.
“If (Heritage) were able to do some stuff against Lakeside, maybe we can too,” Perry said. “We have to move ball well against them and mind No. 20 (Evans) up top.”
The Allatoona boys (17-1) are scrapping their way through the playoffs, despite a couple of injuries.
Drew Loconte is out with a torn MCL. Christopher Udave got hurt earlier in the season and Stephen Dustin is playing with a hyperextended knee. With the injuries, Allatoona has players like Eddie Welborn step up. Welborn scored the game-winner in Allatoona’s 2-1 victory over Cedar Shoals. Also, Connor Moore has done well as of late keeping the center midfield intact.
“We’ve had some injuries as of late but the guys have picked it up behind the guys who have gotten hurt,” Allatoona boys coach Erik Fridborg said. “We’re looking forward to the next game. We feel like we’re in a good spot and I think we’re getting better.”
Both Pope teams are also making their way through the AAAAA bracket.
Like the Allatoona girls, the Pope boys had to come from behind in the second half to beat Dunwoody 5-2 in the first round. The Greyhounds scored three goals in the final 10 minutes with Josh Ziskend scoring two of them.
The 10th-ranked Greyhounds (12-5-1) will host No. 6 Gainesville in the second round. After edging North Atlanta 1-0, the Lady Greyhounds (12-5-2) will play at Flowery Branch.
The Lassiter girls (13-3-1) came through with a huge 2-1 win over No. 5th-ranked Grayson in the first round of the Class AAAAAA behind two second-half goals from Breanne Thompson, but the Lady Trojans still face a challenging portion of the draw.
They will host North Gwinnett, which upset No. 6 Lambert in the first round, today and will likely face top-ranked Harrison in the quarterfinals if they’re successful.
“North Gwinnett has scored a lot of goals this year,” Lassiter coach Robbie Galvin said. “I think the two checklist items are to keep their forwards in check and take over the game. We have to have confidence that we can create opportunities and put them away.”
On the other side of the AAAAAA girls draw, No. 7-ranked Walton (12-3-2) and Hillgrove (14-4-1) are heading toward a state quarterfinal meeting. Hillgrove will play at Newnan and Walton will host No. 10 South Forsyth.
Walton beat Dacula and Hillgrove beat Camden County by identical 3-0 scores.
In the AAAAAA boys bracket, Harrison is a game away from facing No. 2-ranked Centennial in the quarterfinals after beating Coffee County 5-0 behind Cole Guertin’s three goals and two assists. The Hoyas (15-3) will host Douglas County on Wednesday.
The Campbell boys (13-5) won seven straight games after beating Camden County 5-2 in the first round and will play at No. 3-ranked East Coweta. North Cobb (10-6) shut out Colquitt County and will play at Druid Hills.
Both Mount Paran Christian teams had first round byes in the Class A bracket. Both teams will host Fellowship with the girls (13-1) playing today and the boys (9-6-1) playing Wednesday.
The Walker boys (6-12) will play at Holy Innocents, and the Whitefield girls (8-5-2), who won their first playoff game in school history with 4-1 win over Galloway, will play at Holy Innocents today.