Posted: 1:53 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Tournament play begins for No. 1 Marist, No. 5 Grady 

By Chip Saye

Here are some of the top stories in girls soccer this week:

*Tournament time: Marist and Grady, ranked No. 1 and No. 5 in Class AAAA in the most recent Eurosport rankings, will be looking to secure berths in the state tournament when the Region 6-AAAA tournament begins on Tuesday night. Defending state champion Marist will host Washington in the quarterfinals and would face the Carver-Atlanta/Stone Mountain winner in the semifinals on Thursday. Marist also will squeeze in a non-region game on Wednesday against McIntosh, the top-ranked team in Class AAAAA. Grady will host Redan on Tuesday, with the winner facing Chamblee or South Atlanta on Thursday. The consolation and championship games, to determine seeding for the state tournament, will be played on April 22.

*Title on the line: Harrison and Kennesaw Mountain will battle for the regular-season championship in Region 4-AAAAAA when the teams meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kennesaw Mountain. Harrison, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA, is 14-0 overall and 6-0 in 4-AAAAAA, with one region game remaining on Saturday against South Cobb (0-13). The Hoyas have given up just three goals this season and recorded nine consecutive shutouts, last allowing a goal in a 2-1 victory against No. 10 East Coweta on March 4. Unranked Kennesaw Mountain is 8-4-1 overall but 7-0 in region play. The Mustangs are 7-0-1 in their last eight matches, including a 1-0 victory Monday against Marietta on a second-half goal by Cheyenne Golden. Kennesaw Mountain’s tie was a 2-2 match against Class AAAAA No. 4 Allatoona on April 8.

*Jockeying for position in 4-AAAAA: Third-ranked Northgate, the defending state champion, took a big step toward clinching a home match in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs with a 2-1 victory against No. 2 Starr’s Mill on Monday in Region 4-AAAAA. Taylor Hendrix and Reece Weaver scored the goals for Northgate. The win put the Vikings in second place in the region behind top-ranked McIntosh, which beat Northgate 1-0 on March 24. “We have closed the gap in recent years, but there is still something about playing those teams from Fayette County – the Starr’s Mills, McIntoshes and Whitewaters – that are just intimidating,” Northgate head coach Bryan Hicks told the Newnan Times-Herald. “This was special coming off of spring break. We played well in both games. We feel like we can beat anybody, and it is starting to show.” Starr’s Mill, which had won 13 consecutive matches since losing to Harrison in the opener, closes the regular season against McIntosh on April 22.

*Spring break road trip: Gwinnett County teams Peachtree Ridge and Mill Creek went to Charleston for spring-break matches against South Carolina teams and came home with a combined record of 3-1. Peachtree Ridge, No. 5 in Class AAAAAA, lost to Bishop England 1-0 on Thursday and defeated Wando 1-0 on Saturday. Unranked Mill Creek went 2-0, with an 8-0 victory against Goose Creek and a 1-0 win against Cardinal Newman. McClaine Logsdon had a hat trick and Isabelle Eigenbauer scored twice against Goose Creek, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

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