Two area boys soccer teams are set for state championships games this weekend.
After winning in four straight rounds of playoffs, both seasons for Coahulla Creek and Dalton come down to one final game. Tickets are $12 per day and are available on GoFan at gofan.co/app/school/GHSA or at McEachern High School on gameday.
Westminster (20-1-1, 6-0 in Region 5-3A) vs. Coahulla Creek (18-3-1, 8-0 in Region 6-3A)
7:30 p.m. today at McEachern High School in Powder Springs
The Colts are looking for their first state title, but standing in their way is the defending champion from the past two seasons.
Westminster has a history of success, winning titles in multiple classifications dating to the 1960s. If Coahulla Creek is to beat the team with one loss, it should rely on its fancy footwork to set up clean shots on goal.
The Colts will be without its leading scorer, senior Fransisco Medina, who had 51 goals this season before sitting out Tuesday's Final Four win with a red card he was issued in the Elite Eight. Likely leading the team will be sophomore Ronaldo Medina, controlling the ball in the middle and coming into today's game with 21 goals this season as a striker. Sophomore Emmanuel Arredondo should also see multiple touches on the ball in the midfield, sitting behind Medina with 13 goals this season.
Arredondo scored what would be the winning goal for the Colts on Tuesday in their 2-1 win over Benedictine. The goal, with five minutes remaining, boosted the team to its first shot at a state championship.
Sophomore Jaime Mendiola will likely lock down the defense for the Colts. He also scored a goal on Tuesday.
Coahulla Creek has defeated Fannin County, Lovett, Windsor Forest as well as Benedictine during their playoff run. Their closest call was a 1-1 win in penalty kicks (4-2) over Lovett in the Sweet 16. The Colts have losses this season to Dalton, Southeast Whitfield and Baylor (Chattanooga). They tied with Northwest Whitfield.
Westminster's only loss this season is to Station Camp (Gallatin, Tennessee). It tied with Bob Jones (Madison, Alabama). Wins in the playoffs this season have come by at least three goals in each game to Hart County, Calhoun, Islands and Jefferson.
Gainesville (18-2-1, 8-2 in Region 8-6A) vs. Dalton (22-0, 8-0 in Region 6-6A)
2:30 p.m. Saturday at McEachern High School in Powder Springs
The Catamounts are looking for their fifth soccer title in school history and first since 2015. At stake is also keeping an unblemished record for the season.
Dalton, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA TODAY, would claim their first title in Class 6A. It is led by a talented group of seniors including Wake Forest signee Omar Hernandez, Tony Saldana and Wake Forest football signee Ivan Mora in the midfield. Mora is out with a knee injury, as well as senior Harrison Fraire after he was issued a red card in the Elite Eight.
The Catamounts had a bit of a scare in the first round of the playoffs in a 2-1 win over Northview, but has since defeated each opponent in Apalachee, Glynn Academy and Pope by at least four goals. They should rely on a strong fan base, along with their talent.
Gainesville advanced to the title game after a 3-2 win on Tuesday in penalty kicks over Cambridge. It also has wins in the playoffs over Douglas County, Chattahoochee and Richmond Hill. Losses this season have come to Habersham Central and Dacula, while also tying Johnson.