First Presbyterian Christian Academy varsity boys soccer team made it to the state finals for the first time in the program’s three-year history, but the Highlanders came up a few goals short. FPCA lost 4-1 to Oak Mountain Academy on Saturday in Macon.
The Highlanders did finish as the state runners up with an 8-10 overall record. They were undefeated in Georgia Independent School Associtaion’s Region 2-AA.
Coach Tom Sukaratana said even more impressive than making the state game was having eight of his players selected to the All-State, All-Region Team. The champions, Oak Mountain Academy, had only three players selected.The coach said his team played well, but had a few injured players on defense. He credited eighth-graders Stanford Graham, Rick Gilliard and Clark Sukaratana for keeping the
Highlanders in the match and stopping several Oak Mountain goals.
Sukaratana said Oak Mountain scored first, but FPCA tied with 10 minutes left in the first half. Highlander defender Dario Brown struggled with a hamstring injury and came out just before halftime. Oak Mountain scored two more goals to close the half 3-1.
"Oak Mountain played hard and I can’t take anything away from them," the coach said. "It was just one of those days. It was a good game and a great season."
Sukaratana said he never imagined his team would be at the state finals within three years of creating a varsity program. He said with a solid group of eighth- and ninth-graders returning next season, another shot at state is possible.
"We have some great years ahead of us," he said.
Sukaratana said he
will keep players game-ready with his traveling team, the Hinesville Gators. The 14U classic team just nabbed a 3-1 win aginst the Lanier Sharks in Gainesville.
The coach said Tyler Causer and Patrick Chi scored goals. Additionally, his Gator team is the only team with two female players, Brooke Standard and Kelsey Higgason. He said Higgason scored a goal from 30 yards out. The Gators are currently ranked 31 in the state.