Grayson at Lambert
When, where: Saturday, 5 p.m., at Mercer University Five Star Stadium in Macon.
Records, Rankings, Seedings: Grayson is 19-3, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA and the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA; Lambert is 20-2, ranked No. 3 and the No. 1 seed from Region 6.
Coaches: Terry Klinest, Grayson; Scott Luthart, Lambert.
Playoff history: Grayson – 14 playoff appearances, three semifinals, one state championship (2007); Lambert – six playoff appearances, one semifinals.
What to know: A year ago, Lambert was eliminated in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs by a Grayson team that went on to reach the state championship, where it lost to Harrison. Now, they meet in the state finals, so both teams should be familiar with one another. Lambert head coach Scott Luthart is certainly familiar with the Rams program – he started the boys program when the school opened and was an assistant for the Lady Rams, who were then led by current Lambert boys soccer coach Chris Wilson.
Grayson features four Division I recruits in Amanda Baker (Furman), Brittney Bennett (Florida), Ella Stevens (Duke) and Jenna Westendorf (Notre Dame). Westendorf is Grayson’s marquee forward who scored three goals in the first 17 minutes of the teams’ playoff meeting last season. But Lambert believes in its attack, led by Region 6-AAAAAA Player of the Year Emily Haugen, and its defense, led by senior Kat Matthews.
How they got here: Grayson defeated North Gwinnett (6-0), Lee County (11-1), Harrison (2-1) and Peachtree Ridge (2-0); Lambert defeated Pope (3-1), North Paulding (4-1), Collins Hill (1-0) and Lassiter (1-0).