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North Gwinnett’s Kendall Varitek (6) and Parkview’s Molly Hickman (8) fight for a loose ball during a 2019 Class AAAAAAA state soccer semifinal game.

Region 8-AAAAAAA

Archer

Coach: Jennifer Crawford

2019 record: 14-4, first round of state

Returning starters: MF Vanessa Barbosa, Soph.; DEF Alexa Francis, Jr.; F Bailey Francis, Jr.; GK MaCayla Coulter, Sr.; DEF Emalee Kuthy, Sr.; DEF Hannah Lynn, Sr.; DEF/MF Cassidy Wallace, Sr.; F Aliyah Taylor, Sr.; MF Ash Degny, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Aniyah Collier, Fr.; DEF Kennedy Wofford, Fr.; MF Gracie Tyrrell, Fr.; MF Janya Gonzalez, Fr.; MF Ansley Ramon, Fr.

Outlook: Hopes are high for the Tigers thanks to a large group of seniors and juniors returning for a team that made the state playoffs in 2019. The returning players include Kuthy, last year’s 8-AAAAAAA defender of the year, and fellow first-team, all-region selections Alexa Francis, Bailey Francis, Wallace and Taylor.

Grayson

Coach: Rebekah Bullock

2019 record: 8-8-1, first round of state

Returning starters: DEF Amber McKinley, Sr.; DEF Aubrey Legner, Sr.; DEF Delany David, Sr.; DEF Maddy Grove, Sr.; MF/F Vanessa Garcia, Sr.; F Jennifer Munger, Sr.; MF Aliyah Cruz, Jr.; DEF Marie Listenbee, Jr.; GK Ajla Cufurovic, Jr.; MF Jocelyn Hill, Soph.

Outlook: The traditionally strong Rams want another region title, as well as success at the state level. They fell to West Forsyth last season in the first round. Six seniors, four in the defense, are back to lead the way.

Shiloh

Coach: Emrah Trumic

2019 record: 1-12

Returning starters: Did not report

Other key players/newcomers: Did not report

Outlook: The Generals struggled to find offense last season, but they hope for better results this spring.

South Gwinnett

Coach: Erwin Equihua

2019 record: 6-10

Returning starters: GK Chloe Newman, Jr.; DEF Egypt Thomas, Jr.; MF Samantha De La Cruz, Jr.; MF Unique Ward, Sr.; DEF Rachel Lindsay, Sr.; MF Jahloni Ross, Sr.; MF Jada Maynard, Sr.; MF Kyah Threlkeld, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Itzia Sanchez, Fr.; DEF Sydney Parham, Fr.; F Jordan Williams, Soph.

Outlook: Equihua, who led Rockdale to the 2019 region title, brings high expectations to his new program, which did win four region games last season. A region title for the Comets may not happen right away, but the coach is excited about his team, including playmaker De La Cruz in the midfield and defensive stalwart Lindsay. Ward, who joins the team after basketball season, brings veteran experience.

Region 7-AAAAAAA

Berkmar

Coach: Brian Emsley

2019 record: 2-12

Returning starters: F Ashley Fuentes, Sr.; MF Devani Rodriguez-Rangel, Sr.; DEF Yanet Ruiz-Aragon, Sr.; DEF Katherine Barrita-Anota, Jr.; DEF Cindy Solorzano, Jr.; MF/DEF Karen Barrita Flores, Jr.; MF Daniella Romero, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Jessica Fuentes, Fr.; GK Nancy Sierra, Fr.; MF/DEF Nathalie Rios, Soph.; MF Alondra Medrano, Fr.; MF Mia Banos, Fr.

Outlook: A strong senior class and an influx of freshman talent have the Patriots eyeing a playoff spot out of 7-AAAAAAA.

Brookwood

Coach: Chad Carithers

2019 record: 17-4, state semifinals

Returning starters: MF Morgan Bentley, Sr.; MF Stella Allen, Soph.; DEF Sara Weaver, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Deyonna Groce, Sr.; F Mikayla Ross, Sr.; MF Alexis Rodriguez, Sr.; F Sydney Farr, Soph.; MF Kara Westerfield, Sr.; DEF Kendall Montgomery, Jr.; DEF Lyric Franklin, Jr.; DEF Sayja Hinton, Jr.; MF Trinity Edwards, Jr.

Outlook: Graduation and injuries took all but three starters from the Broncos’ Final Four team, leaving Bentley, Allen and Weaver to play huge roles this season. A total of nine players return with varsity experience, though, and Brookwood still aims to make another state playoff run.

Central Gwinnett

Coach: Mike Yocca

2019 record: 7-6

Returning starters: MF Abigail Vicencio, Sr.; MF Frida Sandoval, Jr.; DEF Vanessa Lopez, Jr.; F Diamilet Martinez, Jr.; F Maurisia Hodge, Soph.; DEF Devon Kennedy, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Maria Dominguez, Fr.; MF Guadalupe Dominguez, Fr.; MF Ashley Alvarez, Fr.; DEF Karen Cisneros, Jr.

Outlook: Central improved greatly in 2019 after two wins the season before, and earned a pair of region victories. The Black Knights hope that trend continues and leads to a playoff berth.

Meadowcreek

Coach: Michael Nelson

2019 record: 0-16

Returning starters: F Johana Martinez, Jr.; F Crystal Barajas, Soph.; DEF Nicole Ramos, Soph.; MF/DEF Clarivel Lopez, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Fatima Barajas, Fr.; MF Kelly Sanchez, Soph.

Outlook: Meadowcreek looks to be more competitive this season behind key players like Lopez and Sanchez.

Norcross

Coach: Ryan Burkhart

2019 record: 12-6, first round of state

Returning starters: MF Katie Chuckran, Sr.; DEF Sophia Georgiadis, Sr.; MF Amanda Huseonica, Sr.; MF Annabelle Nowak, Sr.; MF Hayley Foster, Jr.; F Claudia Gatti, Jr.; MF Arden Scourtis, Jr.; DEF/MF Ellie Johnson, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: GK Lillian Johnson-Warren, Sr.; MF/F Morgan Hippeli, Fr.; MF/F Ashley Garcia Miguel, Fr.

Outlook: The Norcross seniors have never missed the state playoffs, a streak they plan to continue this season. They also want to have more success in the state playoffs — they lost to Peachtree Ridge in the first round last year — and compete for a region title. The Blue Devils have holes to fill in the defense, but players have stepped in nicely there, Burkhart said.

Parkview

Coach: Judson Hamby

2019 record: 19-2, state semifinals

Returning starters: F Nieva Gaither, Sr.; F Kendra Davis, Sr.; DEF Sydney Mudd, Sr.; F/MF Sabrina Martul, Sr.; F Hope Britt, Sr.; GK Timberly Peters, Jr.; MF/F Molly Hickman, Jr.; DEF Damaris Gaines, Jr.; MF Narissa Gaither, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Sophie Stein, Jr.; DEF Emma Owens, Jr.; MF/F Morgan Boone, Sr.; DEF Kelsey Sauers, Sr.; F Madelin Escobar, Soph.; DEF McKenna Sauers, Jr.; GK Madison Wach, Jr.; F/DEF Jada McCray, Soph.; MF Ashtin Barker, Jr.; F Iley Hatchett, Soph.; DEF Caroline Daniel, Fr.; MF Gabby Guardado, Fr.; DEF Eli Fann, Soph.

Outlook: Parkview’s 2019 season ended painfully, blowing a late lead to eventual state champion North Gwinnett and losing on penalty kicks in the state semifinals. The loss ended a 40-match unbeaten streak against Georgia opponents. The Panthers are gearing up for another playoff push with a talented lineup that features two-time Daily Post player of the year Nieva Gaither (74 goals, 22 assists the past two seasons) and teammate Davis (18 goals, 13 assists last year).

Region 6-AAAAAAA

Collins Hill

Coach: Jeff Tinklepaugh

2019 record: 6-11

Returning starters: MF Shea Bonacci, Sr.; F Natalie Alamri, Sr.; DEF Maria Ramirez, Sr.; MF Tamia Jones, Sr.; MF/DEF Francesca Cattaneo, Jr.; DEF/MF Sofia Lara, Soph.; DEF Marisol Esparza, Soph.; DEF Lisa Gonzales, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Lily Lee, Jr.; DEF Morgan Williams, Sr.; DEF Anna Hart, Sr.; GK Jordan Engberg, Soph.

Outlook: Tinklepaugh hopes an inexperienced lineup can come together and lead the Eagles back to the state playoffs after missing last season for the first time in 10 years. All-region midfielder Bonacci (eight goals, six assists) and all-county defender Lara are among the top returnees, along with Esparza in the defense. The return of Lee, who missed last season with a knee injury, is a big boost.

Discovery

Coach: Maddie Hoffman

2019 record: 6-8-1

Returning starters: GK Morgan Paulding, Sr.; F Kim Guckert, Sr.; MF Leslie Vazquez, Sr.; MF Jessica Martinez, Jr.; MF Kimmy Altamirano, Jr.; MF Jocelyn Ramos, Soph.; DEF Rubi Jaimes, Jr.; DEF Anaija Roberson, Sr.; DEF Jasmine Turcios, Sr.; MF Theanna Burnett, Soph.; DEF Destiny Bacote, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: Jami Casique; Alycia Thomas

Outlook: The Titans had a solid 2019 season, and look for even better this year with an experienced roster returning.

Duluth

Coach: Jordan White

2019 record: 7-13

Returning players: GK Hannah Mansfield, Sr.; MF Anna Cate Donelan, Soph.; DEF/MF Mitzie Mejia, Soph.; DEF/MF Alexis Brewington, Sr.; MF/F Kylie Hossom, Jr.; MF Esperanza Aguilar, Jr.; MF Kelly Coraza, Soph.; MF/F Bri Barrera, Jr.; DEF/MF Karen Ponce, Sr.; DEF/MF Imani Lewis, Sr.; MF Cameron Dukat, Soph.; MF/F Callie Houser, Jr.; MF/F Madeline McCurry, Sr.; DEF Jocelyn Ixcot, Soph.; DEF Zahide Sandoval, Jr.; GK Maria Salazar, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Bridgett Zuniga, Fr.

Outlook: A large group of returning players leaves the Wildcats with high hopes for a playoff berth this season.

Mill Creek

Coach: Vince Hayes

2019 record: 13-6, first round of state

Returning starters: F Ari Aronoff; F Savannah Singleton; F Nicole Ward; MF Brianna Hernandez; MF Ellie McIntyre; MF Morgan Amrozowicz; DEF Kali Zmistowski; DEF Ella Williams

Other key players/newcomers: MF Emma Kate Schroll; DEF Alexa Aronoff; F Brooklynn Fugel

Outlook: A solid group returns for Hayes, who likes his players’ work rate. The Hawks, who faced a tough first-round matchup in the 2019 playoffs in Parkview, also have a proven goal-scorer back in Aronoff, who had 18 goals in 15 matches.

Mountain View

Coach: Donald Macoy

2019 record: 10-7-2, first round of state

Returning starters: F Kennedy Jackson, Sr.; DEF Annabel Kesinger, Sr.; MF Katie Reinhart, Sr.; MF Sammy Gurewitz, Sr.; MF Isabel Felger, Sr.; MF Samantha Romaine, Sr.; DEF Briana Williams, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F/MF Brianna Brown, Sr.; F Savana Schill, Sr.; DEF Arianna Joisil, Jr.

Outlook: After breaking through to the state playoffs last year, the Bears plan to return this season. A big senior class is back to lead the way, including leading scorer Jackson (17 goals, four assists).

North Gwinnett

Coach: Jeff Becker

2019 record: 18-3, state champions

Returning starters: GK Kelly Hall, Jr.; DEF Dylan Lamberth, Soph.; DEF Katie McCormack, Jr.; DEF Jewel Lewis, Jr.; MF Kendall Varitek, Sr.; MF Gabby Zapata, Sr.; F Marcela Shartouny, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Chandler Lewis-Jenkins, Jr.; MF Alyson Frantz, Sr.; MF Kristen Wischmeier, Sr.; GK Fi Matthee, Sr.; F Bree Barley, Jr.

Outlook: North made a surprising run to the state championship last spring in an underdog role, stunning defending champion Parkview in the semifinals and unbeaten Lambert in the finals. The Bulldogs are poised for another successful season with strong group of returning starters, including standout goalie Hall, talented midfielder Varitek and speedy forward Shartouny.

Peachtree Ridge

Coach: Ashley Veljovic

2019 record: 12-6-1, second round of state

Returning starters: GK Annika Lucisano, Sr.; DEF Maddy Bondon, Sr.; DEF Lauren Fisher, Sr.; MF Addison Neel, Soph.; MF Izzy Tosaki, Soph.; F Kendall Hoskins, Sr.; F Dani Henriquez, Jr.; F Hannah Holley, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Bre Kaplan, Sr.; DEF Lauren Walcott, Sr.; MF Jenna Ro, Jr.; MF Sanaa Smith, Jr.; GK Kenda Williams, Jr.; F Mone’t Crear, Jr.; DEF Johanna Olguin, Jr.; DEF Johana Reyes, Soph.; DEF Sara Canzoneri, Soph.; MF Bella Rich, Soph.; DEF Raegan Best, Soph.; DEF Ti Ogunlana, Soph.; MF Ingrid Escobar, Soph.; MF Ava Brenner, Soph.; DEF Valentina Henriquez, Fr.

Outlook: The Lions have a new head coach in Veljovic, a Parkview grad who played goalkeeper for the University of Georgia and with England’s national teams. She was promoted from assistant to replace Megan Hill, now the coach at Buford. Veljovic inherits a large group of returning starters, including college signees Bondon (Auburn), Holley (Columbus State) and Hoskins (Kennesaw State).

Region 8-AAAAAA

Dacula

Coach: Colleen Foy

2019 record: 18-2, state champions

Returning starters: GK Michaela English, Jr.; F Arianna Aschenbrenner, Sr.; F Mckeely Fortune, Sr.; DEF Brinley Rawson, Sr.; MF Alexa Ramirez, Jr.; F Christina Haber, Jr.; DEF Brianna Roots, Jr.; DEF Torie Hoffman, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Jasmine Calvin, Sr.; F Jaianna Lewis-Kearse, Sr.; MF Lainey Mitchell, Jr.; MF Kaylee Stevens, Jr.; F Janele Adegbuji, Jr.; F Tatyana Machado, Fr.

Outlook: The best season in Dacula soccer history by far had a historic ending with a state championship, the program’s first and the first team title for a Falcons team in any sport since 1993. The experience gained in that run, along with some new talent, will help this season, as will the return of English, one of the state’s top goalkeepers.

Lanier

Coach: Shelby Carlyle

2019 record: 11-9-1, second round of state

Returning starters: DEF Ashley Armstrong, Sr.; MF Beth Stiltner, Sr.; DEF Judah Haynes, Jr.; MF Daroly Ramos, Jr.; MF Riley Copeland, Soph.; MF Emily Andrews, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Elizabeth Taliaferro, Sr.; GK Emilie Balli, Soph.; F Heather Johnston, Jr.; DEF Kelsey Schexnayder, Jr.; MF Zoe Zagotti, Fr.; F Crystal Merino, Fr.

Outlook: After losing in the 2018 first round, the Longhorns advanced a round deeper in the state playoffs last season, their first with Carlyle as head coach. They hope for a better mark in region play this season (they were 7-4 in 2019), as well as another postseason run.

Region 8-AAAAA

Buford

Coach: Megan Hill

2019 record: 12-5-3, second round of state

Returning starters: GK Maggie Leland, Sr.; DEF Natalie Maurer, Sr.; DEF Chloe Kerr, Jr.; DEF Bayley Skinner, Jr.; MF Ava Sherman, Sr.; F Angie Burgos, Sr.; F Elissy Ponton, Sr.; MF Sydney Borgelt, Sr.; MF Carley Borgelt, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: F Ryan Brooks, Fr.; F Teresa Metz, Fr.

Outlook: Hill was previously head coach of a successful program at Peachtree Ridge before being hired by Buford in the offseason. Her first team will be a veteran one with nine seniors, including one of Georgia’s top goalkeepers in Leland, an East Carolina recruit.

Region 7-AAA

Greater Atlanta Christian

Coach: Tia Graves

2019 record: 13-7-1, state semifinals

Returning starters: F Micah Bryant, Soph.; DEF Madison Dickinson, Sr.; MF Payton Gulley, Sr.; MF Courtney Hanft, Sr.; MF Marilee Karinshak, Soph.; GK Molly Pritchard, Soph.; F Madeline Rash, Soph.; DEF Brooke Weaver, Sr.; DEF Kaitlyn Williams, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Motoko Shimoji, Jr.; DEF Reagan Williams, Fr.; F Clarke Sanford, Fr.

Outlook: GAC reached last year’s Final Four before falling to eventual state champion Westminster. The senior-heavy Spartans are talented enough for another deep playoff run with top returning players like Kaitlyn Williams, a Brown recruit who has played in every GAC game since her freshman season, and Gulley, a Presbyterian recruit who had nine goals and a team-high 14 assists last season.

Area 8-A

Hebron Christian

Coach: Russell Aguirre

2019 record: 7-10

Returning starters: GK Annie Garner, Sr.; DEF/MF Sydney Harris, Sr.; MF Regan Muldowney, Sr.; F Jadyn Steele, Sr.; DEF/MF Alexia Tatuta, Sr.; DEF/MF Abby Jackson, Jr.; MF/DEF Haley Brown, Jr.; MF/DEF Sofia Bombaloff Moncher, Soph.; MF Brooke Browning, Soph.; DEF Erin Matthews, Soph.; MF/F Malia Melton, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: F/MF Ashley Allen, Sr.; MF/DEF Isabella Rodriguez, Soph.; DEF Claire McGuirt, Soph.; DEF/MF Keely Boyt, Fr.; MF/DEF Addie Martin, Fr.; MF/F Emma Martin, Fr.; MF Ella Moore, Fr.; MF/F Lily Morgan, Fr.; GK/MF Keira Oliver, Fr.; DEF Bailey Rogers, Fr.

Outlook: Hebron is prepared to battle for a coveted playoff spot in a difficult area behind a large group of returning starters, as well as an influx of young talent.

Providence Christian

Coach: Brian Brewer

2019 record: 8-7

Returning starters: GK Leila Moss, Sr.; MF Hannah Stewman, Sr.; MF/F Heidi Whitten, Soph.; DEF Ansley Larson, Sr.; MF/F Myra Newhouse, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Makayla Postma, Sr.; MF Maisy Hufford, Jr.; F/MF Betty Belew, Fr.; DEF Stephanie Fulleda, Soph.; DEF Liya Seife, Fr.; DEF Kaiya Pringle, Sr.

Outlook: Brewer looks to mesh veteran players with young talent and find a way into the state playoffs. The experience returnees include goalie Moss, a LaGrange signee, and captains Larson and Stewman.

Wesleyan

Coach: Guillermo Vallejo

2019 record: 12-6-2, state champions

Returning starters: F Teagan Wilkenloh, Soph.; F Ashley Cowart, Sr.; F Lucy Mitchell, Sr.; DEF Ashley Binney, Jr.; DEF Lindsey Suits, Jr.; MF Lilly Tapp, Jr.; F Bella Barnes, Sr.; MF Kaitlyn Bobo, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Ansley Morehouse, Jr.; F Emily Becker, Sr.; DEF Marissa Lambert, Soph.; F Emma Symonds, Sr.; DEF Jocelyn Lopez, Soph.; GK Grace Elsevier, Soph.; DEF Christina McCoy, Fr.; DEF Anna-Sophia Pinson, Fr.; DEF Sofia Martin, Fr.; DEF Kyla Richardson, Fr.; MF Cady Triplett, Fr.; MF Bella Wadkins, Fr.; DEF Maddie Parsonnet, Jr.; GK Grace Carroll, Jr.

Outlook: Wesleyan’s 2019 state championship was its second in a three-year span, and both titles were led by Mitchell, a Notre Dame signee. She had 36 goals and 28 assists as a freshman for a state title team, didn’t play high school soccer as a sophomore and returned last year with 22 goals and 13 assists. She is one of eight returning regulars for the Wolves, who have eyes on another crown.

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