High School Soccer
Lady Vikings blank Harris County 4-0
HAMILTON — Northgate’s defense of last year’s Class AAAAA girls soccer title literally got another boost from its team defense on Wednesday.
The Lady Vikings posted their 10th shutout of the season and second straight to open this year’s GHSA tournament with a 4-0 victory over Area 1-AAAAA champion Harris County.
It was the second time Northgate’s girls blanked the Lady Tigers (13-6-1) this season, having also defeated their opponents 5-0 on the road on March 21.
Reese Weaver, Ashley Keller and Katie Salha were among the Lady Vikings goal scorers in Wednesday’s victory in the Sweet 16, which advanced Northgate to face Heritage-Conyers on Saturday.
Heritage rallied past North Paulding in penalty kicks after trailing 2-1 at halftime. The Lady Patriots (16-4-0) captured this year’s Area 8-AAAAA crown.
Weaver opened the scoring late in the first half off an assist from Bailey Swindell before closing the victory off a successful penalty kick from Keller and a goal from Katie Salha.
Earlier this week, three Lady Vikings including Keller earned selections to the All-Area 4-AAAAA First Team. They included defender Hayli Verbanic and striker Lily Barron.
Heading into Wednesday’s second round, three of the four playoff teams out of 4-AAAAA had advanced to the second round.
McIntosh, the No. 3 seed out of 4-AAAAA, also moved on to the Elite 8 with a 4-0 victory at Glynn Academy.
A victory by both Northgate and McIntosh on Saturday sets up a rematch of last year’s Class AAAAA semifinals, but at Henry Seldon Field. The Lady Vikings defeated the Lady Chiefs on their home field in overtime in 2013 en route to the program’s first state soccer championship.