Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Parkview celebrates a goal in penalty kicks during the Class AAAAAA state championship game against Harrison on Saturday evening at Kennesaw State University. The Panthers defeated the Hoyas 2-1 to claim the title.
KENNESAW --The state's largest classification for high school soccer belongs to Gwinnett.
The county swept the Class AAAAAA state championships Saturday night at Kennesaw State, beginning with the Parkview girls' 2-1 defeat of Harrison in a match that went to penalty kicks. A local team was assured of a state title in the nightcap, an all-Gwinnett final that saw Berkmar defeat Collins Hill 2-0.
Championship Saturday got off to a rough start for county teams in the lower classifications, though. The Hebron Christian boys lost to Paideia 5-4 in the Class A finals after another penalty kick shootout at Kennesaw State, while the Greater Atlanta Christian girls' bid for a repeat championship in AA fell just short in a 3-2 loss to rival Westminster at West Georgia.
Gwinnett had much better luck in the state's biggest class, thanks to a big victory by Parkview over top-ranked Harrison, which was playing less than 10 miles from its high school campus.
It was the eighth girls soccer title for Parkview, and the first since it won three in a row from 2007-09.
"It's been a while," Parkview girls head coach Judson Hamby said. "So, we're excited about that, and we're excited to continue the dynasty and to carry the tradition on. We knew we were very young (this season), but here we are -- back again. I told (the seniors) three years ago, we'd be back. So, I'm just excited for them."
The AAAAAA final, a clash between experienced Collins Hill and newcomer Berkmar, continued Gwinnett's domination at that level. The Patriots won just the third athletic state title in school history and the first since winning back-to-back boys basketball championships in 2000 and 2001.
The county's boys soccer teams now have won eight of the past 13 state titles in Georgia's largest class.
"It's amazing just to think about us as state champions," Berkmar senior Alexis Montanez said. "It means so much to our community."
For complete coverage of all the games, go to www.gwinnettprepsports.com.