No. 10 Wesleyan girls knock off No. 1 GAC
Spartan girls, boys still sweep area titles

NORCROSS - Two soccer teams avenged their only Area 11-AA/A losses Thursday night, but just one left as area champion.

The Wesleyan girls defeated Greater Atlanta Christian, ranked first in Class AA/A, 1-0 for a big boost heading into next week's state playoffs. But the No. 10 Wolves, who lost to GAC earlier in the season, didn't get the area's top seed because of the fifth tiebreaker - goals allowed in area play.

That didn't take the luster off the win for Wesleyan (14-4), which completed the gauntlet of three victories in three days after sweeping Providence Tuesday and Wednesday.

"That was our three biggest games (of the season) in three days," Wesleyan girls coach Lacy Gilbert said. "To win those three games in a row was tough. I'm so proud of the girls."

The third-ranked GAC boys rarely lose to AA/A teams, but No. 6 Wesleyan defeated the Spartans back on March 12 - their first victory in the series since 2002.

GAC gained its revenge Thursday night with a 3-2, comeback victory over Wesleyan, securing the program's sixth straight area/region championship. Chris Thomas scored all three Spartan goals, including the game-winner in the 72nd minute.

"(Our players) wanted it," GAC boys coach Thom Jacquet said. "But it was difficult for us to take. It was a struggle."

So was the girls game, albeit a more defensive one.

Wesleyan had a couple of close calls early in the second half on Paige Pickert shots, then finally got the game's only goal in the 67th minute. Senior Kiersten White sent a floating cross in from the right side that caromed off a pair of players and into the net. GAC had held its previous five opponents scoreless.

The one goal was plenty for a Wesleyan defense that has allowed only one goal in the past eight games. McKenzie Stanford and Rachael Duane led the Wolves' defense, while goalie Hannah Duane posted the shutout.

The boys game was more back and forth, starting when a GAC miscue just before halftime led to a 1-0 deficit. Wesleyan's Spencer Brown won a one-on-one collision with Spartan goalie John Max Boling and scored.

Just 25 seconds into the second half, Thomas scored the equalizer on Zack Johnson's assist. Chris Duvall's corner was headed in by Wesleyan's Greg MacKenzie in the 52nd minute, giving the Wolves the lead back.

GAC tied the score 11 minutes later when Eric Fletcher and Aldyn Royes teamed up to set up a Thomas goal. Thomas' final goal came off an assist from freshman Vishal Patel, who had just entered seconds earlier.