Sunday June 23rd, 2024 4:57PM
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Boys soccer playoffs: Knights hope to repeat in 'The Rematch' with Westminster

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

Playing for state titles is nothing new for the Johnson boys soccer team. They have won two straight Georgia High School Association state titles (Class 5A in 2022, 4A in 2023) and will try and defend their 4A title on Wednesday against Westminster at Duluth High School.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be a rematch of the 2023 championship match, won 4-2 by the Knights at McEachern High School. This will be the fourth consecutive state final for the Knights.

Johnson coach Frank Zamora said the only thing similar for both teams is the names on the front of the jerseys. But the bulk of the current Knights roster was used mainly in backup roles the past two seasons. They will be looked on to carry on the tradition this time around.

“Both teams graduated a lot, so neither team is the same as last year,” he said after the Knights took a slim 1-0 win over Northwest Whitfield last week in the semifinals. “Westminster is a great program with talented players every year. It will be another great battle from both teams.”

Despite owning a now 14-match win streak in the postseason, the 2024 Knights have been slow starters in every round. But they have also dominated every second half.

The issue, if there is any, has been finishing around the net in the offensive zone.

“The boys respond well to the changes we talk about and do a good job adapting in the second half,” Zamora said. “The key will be for us to take advantage of the opportunities early; be more clinical in the final third.”

CLASS 4A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Johnson vs. Westminster
Records: Knights (18-1-1, Region 8-4A); Wildcats (16-4-2, Region 6-4A)
Last week's semifinals: Johnson beat Northwest Whitfield, 1-0; Westminster beat Holy Innocents’, 2-1
When: Wednesday, May 8 
Where: Duluth High School, Duluth
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The Statisticals: Both teams are perennial playoff behemoths. Johnson is the defending Class 4A and has won three titles since 2018 and played for two others. ... Westminster has won 6 titles since 2011 but has not won a championship since 2019. ... Johnson has outscored its opponents 77-19 and 9-3 in the playoffs. ... The Knights have won three 1-goal matches in the 2024 playoffs. ... Westminster has outscored its opponents 80-20 and 10-1 in the playoffs.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Top Sports Stories
  • Associated Tags: High school soccer, Johnson boys soccer
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