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Friday, May 18, 2012

5A State Championship Preview

-- Milton Eagles (17-3) @ Lassiter Trojans (16-2) - Saturday 6pm at Lassiter

The 5A championship is a great matchup of powerful programs that are very balanced teams. These two aren't strangers, and Milton has gotten the best of Lassiter lately... winning 6-3 in their meeting in late March and knocking the Trojans out of last year's playoffs in the quarters. Both teams have rolled through the playoffs and had surprisingly lopsided games in the Semis: Milton's path was 8-7 OT over Walton, 8-3 over Ridge, and 12-3 over Etowah, while Lassiter hasn't even been tested with 12-4 over Northview, 14-1 over East Coweta, and an impressive 14-4 over Alpharetta.

The Trojans seem to be on a bit more of a roll than the Eagles, having won 9 straight since dropping back-to-back games to Milton and Lovett in late March. Their lopsided defeat of Alpha on Tuesday was an eye-opener: after getting down 0-2 quickly, the Trojans settled in and ran off 7 straight goals to take control of the battle. Milton hasn't looked as dominant since late April when they lost in OT to Alpha. Since then, they've won a pair of 1 goal games over Walton and lost in OT to Harrison.

Both teams always play tough schedules against the best in 4A/5A, but Milton has played a slightly tougher sched this year. Milton has played some tough out-of-state competition as well as facing 4A power Lambert. Additionally, their Area is tougher and deeper than the Trojans'.

Both teams seem to be well-balanced without any glaring weaknesses. The GLB doesn't always like the way All-State teams are chosen, but it is interesting to note that Lassiter had a 1st team All-State selection at every position, including All-American goalie Ryan Smith. His counterpart at Milton, Jackson Cate, has also been strong between the pipes this year, so it will be interesting to see who has the hotter hand.

This should be a great tilt and I'm sure "The Frank" will be packed. Give us your thoughts and predictions in the comments section.

26 comments:

  1. Lassiter wins 8-7. Two tough goalies will make this a coin flip.

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  3. I think this will be close until the final horn. If Milton slows the pace down I can see them coming out on top in a tight contest like their meeting earlier in the year.

    However, if Lassiter gets off to a quick start and then Milton attempts to run with the Trojans, I can see Lassiter winning by a "comfortable" margin of 3 or so.

    Lassiter seems to have really found its groove and playing as a whole team after those back to back losses. Milton has been off the last few games, but can turn it on at the drop of a hat.

    Hopefully I can make it for the last 3 quarters. Should be a great game and crowd.

    NExt year the GHSA needs to look at having the championship games on separate evengings or 1 early in the day and the other in the evening.

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  4. Fulton County graduates tonight which is why game was moved to tomorrow

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  5. ..and Lambert Soccer is hosting the Boys State playoffs tonight.. so there were conflicts here...

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    1. they still could had scheduled one game at 2:30 pm and the other in evening, both on Saturday without conflicting with any graduation or Friday night soccer games. It's too bad, The crowds will be smaller than last year.

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    2. no poor attendance for the Lambert - Pope game. Lambert pre sold 2000 tickets for Saturday

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    3. crowds at tonights gameMay 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      crowds will be smaller (not small, but smaller) than last years giant crowd. There was a crowd estimate somewhere between 4000 and 5000 folks last year at Lambert, the crowd was nuts (and very loud). It will not be as large simply due to the lax fans being split between the two different games, which could have been avoided by some more strategic schedule coordination.

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  6. Who cares about soccer. Worst sport ever

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  7. "You just never know" kicks in here. Records, common opponents, momentum, etc. shows this to be about even, Laxpower even agrees.
    But look at 2 years ago, Lassiter had edged Milton 9-8 in last minute of regular season game at Milton in what was a great game of back-n-forths of momentum. GLB did a great recap of that game on this site, should be in archives, even predicted a collision course for playoffs.
    Then in State Final, a blowout that was all Milton. Trojans came out flat and did not adjust during game. All things pointed to an entertaining tight game that never happened. Looking for at least that this year, regardles of who wins.
    If so, the unbiased fan gets that reward and the casual or new fan (usually many at these title games), catches the lax bug and sees why this is the fastest growing sport.

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  8. What? No 4A championship preview?

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  9. Milton doesn't play inspired Lacrosse,they whine and complain about all the intangibles(coaching,penalties,etc.)

    If Milton plays accountably and inspired it will be a great game,they have to do a better of job of blocking out bad moments in a game!

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    1. the Milton coaching should also use their timeout more strategically this game (unlike they did against the Alpharetta overtime game). Note to Milton coaches: If Lassiter goes on a 3 or 4 goal run, call a time out; don't save those time outs to the last two minutes.

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    2. Well that Milton machine didn't seem to whine that much, maybe some people will finally start giving some credit. They went up early and battled adversity when Lassiter came back to pull off a great win. Sorry haters but Milton was the best 5A team this year, no questions!! Oh , and those coaches do deserve some major credit as well. BTW, congrats to Lassiter and number 13, he was awesome!!

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  10. Wow Milton & Lambert the two best teams in the State.

    Maybe next year we finally figure out how strong Lambert is night after night in 5A?

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  12. Heres an interesting fact: of the four teams competing for state championships yesterday each had at least one coach from the 2003 all state team on their staff

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  13. State Champions. Seriously? I love these posts that have to find a way to put Lambert down. Go look at Lambert's Non-area schedule over the last two years and honestly try to make the 5A vs. 4A case. Lambert has been the best team in Georgia over the last two years. They have proved that on the field. I am sure that we will see a different Lambert team next year as they graduate 14 Seniors that have been the face of a program that has been 61-3 over the last three years. But that will have nothing to do with the self serving 5A vs 4A, nonsense discussion. With that said, here is an honest first shot at a Final Top Ten Ranking in the State of Georgia based on what happen on the field this year.

    1. Lambert
    2. Milton
    3. Lassiter
    4. Pope
    5. Alpharetta
    6. Westminster
    7. Etowah
    8. Lovett
    9. Roswell
    10. Northview

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  14. overall rankingsMay 21, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    maybe reverse the order of 4 and 5 (Pope & Alpha), but that's a very good list.

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  15. C'mon! a very good list indeed. If there is a #11, it has to be Walton. Even at 7-12, they gave every team on your list everything they could handle.

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  16. walton was hard to figure out. they gave lambert, pope, lassiter, and milton a close game but got beaten handily by westy and lovett. they also had a few questionable losses. their season didn't make sense to me

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  17. I would put Walton at #4. Their record was not at all indicative of their ability. If you saw them play Milton in the first round there is no doubt they could hang with any team.

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    1. Oh come on. A team that is 5 games under .500? You can't rank them on what might have been. They lost more than they won. Tough schedule? Sure. But they didn't win much. How can you call them a good team? Nobody ever won a championship just for scheduling some good teams. You can't put them above Pope, Lovett, Westminister, Roswell, Alpharetta. Why? They didn't beat them, or really anyone of note. So they join the also-rans.

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    2. Good argument. Based on their record they shouldn't make the list. However, After seeing how they played at the end of the year vs how the other teams were playing at the end of the year I would argue Walton would beat those teams ranked ahead of them. Statistically I couldn't put them above those teams, you're right about that, but if they matched up with those teams in the playoffs I would bet on Walton coming out on top

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    3. Good argument. Based on their record they shouldn't make the list. However, After seeing how they played at the end of the year vs how the other teams were playing at the end of the year I would argue Walton would beat those teams ranked ahead of them. Statistically I couldn't put them above those teams, you're right about that, but if they matched up with those teams in the playoffs I would bet on Walton coming out on top

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  18. Even tho lassiter came up short this year, i predict them winning it all next year. They only graduate one starter (garrett shank) this year and will return 2 all americans (cash carlson and ryan smith) and a first team all state (jack fitzharris) their already solid defense will be even better next year along with their starting attack as they return both starting attack and defense lines. They will be the most expierienced team in 5A next year and i see tem having a great season and ending it with a ring

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