Friday, May 6, 2011
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Gwinnett Daily Post
ZEBULON — The girls soccer matchup featured two top-10 teams, but the final score didn’t look much like it.
No. 2 Greater Atlanta Christian went on the road and dominated sixth-ranked Pike County, claiming a 10-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs Friday night. Rachel Garcia and Chelsea Gandy-Cromer were unstoppable in the attack, each tallying three goals and an assist as the Spartans (15-2-2) advanced to play Westminster in the Final Four on Tuesday.
“I didn’t expect 10-0,” GAC girls coach Troy Bendickson said. “They (Pike) were solid. They were solid all over the field. But we were sharp, really sharp. We happened to just play outstanding. We scored 50 seconds into the game and that set the tone.”
GAC has outscored its opposition 116-9 this season and hasn’t been tested yet in the playoffs. Friday’s effort was its 13th shutout, with Elizabeth White and McKenzie Nelson sharing the clean sheet in goal.
Kelsey Fervier, Anna Douglas, Mollie Arendale and Alie Peterson scored a goal each for the Spartans, while Allie Blinder had a game-high two assists.
Despite the early goal, GAC got a tough opening half from Pike (13-5-2) and led just 4-0 at intermission. But the game turned completely lopsided early in the second half, as Bendickson was impressed with how his team kept the pressure on and turned it into a more comfortable victory.
The Spartans have never made it past the Final Four, but they have now made the state semifinals each of the past three seasons.