It didn’t seem to bother Greater Atlanta Christian’s Kaylann Boyd that she was probably looking at a couple of stitches to close a gash above her left eye. All that mattered was the Class AA championship trophy that was being carted around by her teammates.
Boyd was instrumental in helping GAC beat Region 6-AA rival Lovett 3-0 at Emory to win the Class AA soccer title for the second time in three years. She scored once and nearly scored again in the final minutes when she was whacked by Lovett’s Grace Jackson, who Boyd called her best friend.
The Spartans (19-2-1) got a goal from Boyd at the 30:36 mark of the first half that changed the pace of the game, which had been dominated by an aggressive Lovett attack in the first 10 minutes. Boyd took the ball from Reagan Glisson and fired a left-footed shot past Lovett keeper Jamie Price.
“It was a great layoff,” Boyd said. “It was a one-touch play.”
The goal took the steam out of Lovett and seemed to embolden GAC.
“We didn’t start so well,” coach Troy Bendickson said. “But we knew we could score and we scored in transition, which was huge.”
GAC scored on a 40-yard lob from Tayler McPherson with 22:02 in the second half. Glisson, a freshman, added an insurance goal with 2:07 remaining.
“This is incredible,” Boyd said. “It was especially important since this was the last game for our coach. We wanted to win it for him.”
Lovett (17-4) was the early aggressor, but never got many good chances at goal. The two teams split during the regular season, with Lovett winning 1-0 on March 4 and GAC winning 2-0 on April 7.
It was the final game for Bendickson, who announced his resignation earlier this season. Bendickson will return to Davenport, Iowa, to continue a ministry his late father started. One task of his domestic mission effort will be to feed and care for widows.