FPCA captured the Class AA-Region 4 title Friday, defeating perennial powerhouse Frederica Academy, 3-2, at the St. James Sports Complex.
The Lady Knights are four-time region and state champions in the Georgia Independent School Association and twice have been named a Parade All-American team in recent years.
“We knew coming into this game that Frederica would be one of the best teams that we would face all year. They have been one of the most consistent programs for the last 20 years,” Lady Highlanders soccer coach Tom Sukaratana said.
The Lady ’Landers took an early lead when sophomore Kelsey Higgason sliced through the Lady Knights’ defense and scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of play. Defensively, FPCA dominated Frederica, keeping control of the ball for much of the first half.
FPCA added it to its lead when Brooke Standard drove down the field midway through the first half. Standard also scored another goal at the 10-minute mark in the second half.
Lone Lady Highlander senior Aliyah Wilson was honored at halftime as part of the senior day activities.
“We were ahead at the half, and I told them that we couldn’t let Frederica get back in the game in the second half, and that we had to score in the first 10 minutes in the second half. Brooke scored right at the 10-minute mark in the second half,” Sukaratana said.
After building a 3-0 lead, FPCA’s coach was able to adjust his lineup some. Frederica scored off a penalty kick and, 10 minutes later, scored again, cutting the lead to 3-2.
“When they scored it was off of a penalty kick, and the foul was purely a judgment call. They scored again 10 minutes later. They didn’t outplay us when they scored back-to-back; we just had a mental breakdown that we end up fixing before the game was over,” Sukaratana said.
He also expressed satisfaction with eighth-grader Megan Higgason’s performance. Because of injuries, the coach pulled up Higgason to play keeper.
FPCA finished the regular season 10-1 and now will host the Region 1 fourth seed. The game is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the St. James Sports Complex.