At Greenbrier High School, two very different soccer games were played in boys and girls state quarterfinal action Friday and Saturday night.
The boys had little problem with Tucker High School Friday night, winning 4-0. The Lady Wolfpack faced Marist Saturday night and suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 7-1.
With the win, the boys (19-1) advanced to the GHSA Class AAAA semifinal at home Tuesday night against Starr’s Mill. With their loss, the best-ever season ends for the girls (19-0-1).
In the boys game, the senior tandem of Reed Norton and Luke Waechter led the way for the Wolfpack.
Waechter scored the Wolfpack’s first goal of the game with an assist from Norton, then returned the favor, recording assists on two of Norton’s three goals.
“We can always find each other on the field and know where each other is at,” said Norton.
With 22:30 to go in the first half, Norton broke down defenders, found Waechter in front of the goal and fired it in.
With just over five minutes to play in the half, Waechter chipped the ball over defenders to the waiting Norton, who blasted it by a defender and the keeper.
The Wolfpack equaled their largest margin of victory in the tournament’s three games thus far against the No. 1 seed Tigers (15-5-1) from Region 6.
In the second half, Norton added a header with just more than 29 minutes to play and then scored easily on a pass from Waechter with 2:07 to go.
“It looks like we’re peaking at the right time,” said Wolfpack head coach Chip Warren.
The Lady Wolfpack, who entered the contest unbeaten with a 19-0-1 record, looked out of sorts from the start against the No. 1 seed Marist (18-1-2) from Region 6.
The Lady War Eagles jumped on top with a Mary Beth Bleekrode goal at 29:29, then stunned the Lady Wolfpack 19 seconds later with their second goal of the game.
“The first goal, it shocked us a little bit,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick. “We were so unorganized from the get-go at midfield and defensively.”
The Lady Wolfpack entered the game already down two starters, with senior midfielder Carly Ray and senior defensive stalwart Nadia Maaouia out with injuries.
“(Ray) has a big part in keeping everyone organized,” Kendrick said. “To be honest, when the girls found out this morning she was out, we looked like we were defeated already.”
Greenbrier saw the Lady War Eagles score two more times before the half for a 4-0 lead.
Senior Bay Daniel made sure the Lady Wolfpack would not get shut out. She stole the ball in Marist’s end and blasted the ball home with 11:31 to play in the game.
At the end, Kendrick was still appreciative of everything his team was able to accomplish during the year, including the Region 2-AAAA title.
“I’m definitely proud of the girls,” he said. “They had a great season. It’s just a rough way to go out.”