High school soccer playoffs: Dalton, Creek, Christian Heritage reach Elite 8

Apr. 24—Boys Dalton 2, Clarke Central 1

Dalton's quest for a second straight Class 5A state championship — and an eighth overall — survived a second round trip to Clarke Central Wednesday.

Dalton (15-4-1) overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit with two goals after the break to knock off previously-unbeaten Clarke Central (15-1-2) 2-1 and return to the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

Dalton will make the trip to Peachtree City to play 20-0 state power McIntosh Tuesday in the Elite 8.

Clarke Central scored a first-half goal and led 1-0 at the break.

Dalton scored the equalizing goal midway through the second half, then David Saldana put in the go-ahead score with 11:20 left.

Dalton and quarterfinal opponent McIntosh met up in March in Dalton. McIntosh got a 3-1 win.

Coahulla Creek 4, Monroe Area 1

Defending Class 3A champion Coahulla Creek took another step toward a repeat Wednesday.

The Colts (13-4-1) knocked off Monroe Area (11-6-1) 4-1 in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs Wednesday and will move on to the state quarterfinals.

Coahulla will face Columbus in the Elite 8 on the road on Tuesday. Both Creek and Columbus are No. 1 seeds, but the GHSA's universal coin toss determined that the team on the bottom half of the bracket would host in quarterfinal games in which teams with the same seeds meet, giving Columbus the right to host.

Creek scored the first goal of the game Wednesday with 18:46 left in the first half, when Cruz Barcenas plunged through the defense, weaving his way for an opening, and sent in a missile past the keeper for a 1-0 lead that held at halftime.

Creek made it 2-0 with 34:32 left in the second. The lead was still 2-0 with seven minutes to play before a flurry of late goals.

A Colt goal with 6:19 left made it 3-0 before Monroe Area finally got on the board with 4:03 left. Omar Mendiola answered for the Colts less than a minute later, scoring the final goal with 3:17 to play.

Christian Heritage 5, Chattahoochee County 1

The hopes for a second straight state title are still alive for Christian Heritage.

The Lions (8-4) knocked off Chattahoochee County (5-8) 5-1 Wednesday in the second round of the Class A DII playoffs.

The defending state champions advance to the state quarterfinals and will host Echols County on Tuesday.

Carson Russell got the Lions' scoring started with a goal with 13:40 left in the first half, then buried a penalty kick with 7:01 in the first to put the Lions up 2-0 at half.

Russell completed a hat trick with a goal off of a deflection with 30:34 left. The Lions scored two goals to make it 5-0, with Evan Coulter scoring the fourth and Jose Ojeda scoring the fifth.

Chattahoochee County got a late goal.

Ojeda, Bolger and Russell each had an assist.

Girls Cherokee Bluff 2, Southeast Whitfield 0

Southeast Whitfield ran into tough competition in the second round of the Class 4A girls playoffs, falling to Region 8-4A champion Cherokee Bluff 2-0 Thursday to end the season.

Southeast held Cherokee Bluff to two goals, the fewest in a Cherokee Bluff win this season.

Cherokee Bluff (16-4) moves on to the Class 4A quarterfinals, while Southeast ends the year 11-4-1.

Towns County 5, Christian Heritage 0

Christian Heritage (4-7) had its season ended with a 5-0 home loss to Towns County (10-2) Wednesday in the second round of the Class A DII second round.

Towns County moves on to play in the state quarterfinals.

The Lady Lions had received a bye into the second round of the state playoffs.