The Region 8-AAAAAA championship and possibly the role of favorite heading into the state tournament will be determined in the next four days when fourth-ranked Brookwood (15-1, 6-0) closes the regular season with matches against No. 3 Parkview (14-1, 6-1) and top-ranked Grayson (14-0-1, 7-0).
“The games with Parkview and Grayson are our two biggest games of the season,” Brookwood coach Jeff Becker said. “We are excited for these games because they will determine our region's champion and they will be a chance to prove ourselves against the No. 3 and No. 1 teams in the state. I don't think there has been a season where the top three spots in Region 8 have been so closely contested.”
Brookwood’s scoring leader this season is Jenny Allen, an Armstrong Atlantic signee who has 37 goals. Goalkeeper Rebecca Head and center backs Denver Ellison and Sanon Williams anchor a defense that has allowed 12 goals (none in region play). Fiorella Gamarra has added seven goals and eight assists, and Francessca Ellis has six goals and six assists.
The Broncos have won nine consecutive games and allowed just four goals since its only loss, a 3-1 setback at fifth-ranked Peachtree Ridge on March 4. Grayson’s only non-victory was a 2-2 tie against Flowery Branch on Feb. 21 in the third game of the season. The Rams beat Parkview 5-4 on March 14.
Brookwood plays at Parkview at 6 p.m. Friday and at home against Grayson at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
*Richmond Hill rolling: Unranked Richmond Hill has been in the thick of the race for the Region 3-AAAAA title all season, but the Wildcats (14-3 overall, 12-1 in region going into Friday’s regular-season finale against Ware County) appear to have picked up their game after an 11-1 loss to defending Class AAAAAA champion Parkview on March 29. Since then, the Wildcats are 5-0 and have outscored their opponents 38-0.
“This year, we have attempted to upgrade our non-conference schedule by playing two state champions and one state finalist,” Richmond Hill coach Steve Kollman said. “At times we have played well, but we have also learned a great deal about our team in the process. Our girls have improved each week and have done all we have asked of them to get better.”
Richmond Hill lost to Hilton Head Island, a defending state champion in South Carolina, 7-2 in a preseason exhibition game. The Wildcats also lost to 2013 Class AA runner-up and current No. 1 team Greater Atlanta Christian 8-1 in the regular-season opener.
Kollman mentioned strikers Nia Gordon and Micah Kanicki, midfielders Emily Johnson, Casey Qua and Jasmine Marquez and goalkeeper Caroline Smith as the team’s top players.
*Region championships: Second-ranked Harrison clinched the 4-AAAAAA title when it defeated Kennesaw Mountain 3-0 on Tuesday in a battle between teams that were unbeaten in region play. Lizzy Sieracki, Melissa Cameron and Treva Aycock scored the goals for Harrison, which had allowed just three goals all season and recorded 10 consecutive shutouts going into play this weekend. The loss snapped an eight-match unbeaten streak for Kennesaw Mountain, which has clinched second place in the region ... Top-ranked Marist and No. 5 Grady will play for Region 6-AAAA championship at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Marist after advancing through the quarterfinals and semifinals of the region tournament. Marist advanced to the final with a forfeit victory against Washington and a 10-0 win against Carver-Atlanta. Grady defeated Redan 10-0 and Chamblee 3-2. Carver and Chamblee will play on Tuesday to determine the region’s No. 3 seed. Marist also had another big victory during the week, beating Class AAAAA No. 1 McIntosh 6-0 on Wednesday.
*County leaders: Redan junior Melanie Abron has taken over the DeKalb County lead in goals with 18, according to statistics released by the county on Thursday. Senior Daijah De Ramus of Tucker is second with 17 goals, followed by Towers’ duo of freshman Mia Carradine and senior Bridgette Grimes with 16 each. Carradine and Chamblee sophomore Hannah Shute are the assist leaders with 11. Arabia Mountain’s Jeveina Hylton, Chamblee’s Kamilah Mustafa and Lakeside’s Emma Gray have 10 assists each. The leading goalkeeper is Lian Kong-Quee with a goals-against average of 0.22 in seven games.