Fans of First Presbyterian Christian Academy soccer will need to gather their best beach chairs, sunblocks and bug sprays, because the Highlanders are headed to St. Simons Island to play for the crown.
Both FPCA soccer teams on May 11 will battle for the Georgia Independent School Association state titles after the girls’ and boys’ teams won their respective semifinal games.
It started Tuesday at James Brown Park, where the Lady ’Landers beat Trinity Christian, 4-0, to advance to the finals.
Kelsey Higgason scored two goals in the first half of play. The Lady ’Landers completed the win in the second half when Cecilia Graham scored and then made an assist to Elaina Peterson, who scored the final goal.
The girls have notched shutouts in nine of their 15 games this season.
Highlander coach Tom Sukaratana said defense was the key to the victories this year for both the girls and boys. The girls scored 101 goals this season while giving up only 10.
The FPCA boys advanced to the finals after posting an 8-0 shutout over Oak Mountain Academy on Wednesday in Carrollton. Oak Mountain eliminated FPCA in last year’s first round.
It was the 11th shutout in 17 games this year for the Highlanders, who have scored 110 goals and allowed 20.
After missing a few games due to injury, Highlander Stanford Graham was back in form Wednesday by scoring the first two goals. Tareak Barnes chipped in two goals in the effort, and Garrett Thornton, Robert Abrams, Clark Sukaratana and Tyler Causer each added one.
The state tournament will be hosted by Frederica Academy. At 4 p.m., the Lady ’Landers will face Athens’ Monsignor Donovan, the top-seeded team from Region 1-AA.
Following the girls’ title game, the Highlanders will face their nemesis, Frederica Academy. The Knights have taken two wins against the FPCA boys earlier this season.
“Yes, they beat us 5-1 and 5-3, but the third time will be the charm,” Sukaratana said. “This is similar to what I went through in 2004 when I coached at Bulloch. Frederica beat me twice in the season, and then we beat them, 2-1, in the finals. Our boys are doing better on defense, and Frederica knows we are the one team that can beat them. We made three mistakes in the last game against them and we have learned from those mistakes. I feel pretty good … we know our competition.”