TUNNEL HILL — The Jefferson girls soccer team pulled off its biggest win in program history on Thursday, knocking off Northwest Whitfield 5-0 to advance to their first-ever Class 4A state championship game.
The Lady Dragons program was established in 2008 and had made the semifinals in 2017 and 2019 but could not get into the title match. That changed on Thursday.
Northwest Whitfield (15-4) came into the match having won seven straight, all by shutout. But the Jefferson offense, which had scored 23 goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs, was able to exert its will to control the match.
The fourth-ranked Lady Dragons (14-3-1) got an early goal to grab the momentum and then slowly pulled away against the third-ranked Lady Bruins. Jefferson took a 3-0 lead into intermission and made it stand up in the second half as they added two more goals.
Abbey Eison recorded a hat trick and added an assist while Molly Parker and Rylie Servatius each had one goal for Jefferson. Carter Drake had two assists for the Lady Dragons.
Meanwhile, the Jefferson defense continued its stellar play pitching its third shutout of the playoffs.
Keeper Ella Sellers made three key saves and the defense was paced by Mackenzie Tooke, Ella Parker, who moved from forward to center back with the absence of injured Lanie McCarty, Macy McGinnis, and Bella Jube.
Jefferson will play Marist, which knocked off defending state champion North Oconee, in the finals in Macon next week. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. Thursday at Mercer Stadium.
In Class A Public, the Commerce girls held off fellow Region 8-A foe Towns County 5-1 to advance to the championship match next week.
It will be an all-Region 8-A final as the No. 2 Lady Tigers will take on No. 1 Social Circle in Macon.
Social Circle beat Commerce 3-1 in Social Circle during the regular season.