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Boys soccer: Previews of first-round state playoff matchups
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Pinecrest Academy's Brendan Kane heads the ball during the Paladins' game against Whitefield Academy on Thursday, April 19, 2018. - photo by Ben Hendren
Mill Creek at Lambert

When, where: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. in Suwanee

Records and seedings: Lambert is 13-4-1 and the No. 1 seed from Region 5; Mill Creek is 6-9-1, and the No. 4 seed from Region 6.

What to know: The Longhorns’ girls team made waves with its late-season run of dominance last year, and while that team was unable to repeat that feat – and wound up missing the playoffs entirely, in fact – the Lambert boys kept up the schools’ tradition of remarkable play on the pitch. Lambert got six games into its region schedule this year before even allowing a goal, and their overall margin of 40 scored to four allowed was the best in the region by far. The Longhorns have already beaten the Hawks once this season, 2-0 on Feb. 8. Mill Creek is familiar for another reason: The Hawks are coached by Brett Godwin, a Lambert alum who will be Denmark’s head coach next year.

What’s next: The winner faces either Archer or Brookwood in the second round.

North Gwinnett at South Forsyth

When, where: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. in Cumming

Records and seedings: South is 14-3-1 and the No. 2 seed from Region 5; North Gwinnett is 8-9-1 and the No. 3 seed from Region 6.

What to know: The War Eagles didn’t truly dominate any opponent this season: Their greatest margin of victory so far was a 4-0 win at North Forsyth on March 29. But a win’s a win’s a win, and South has 14 of those, with nine coming in region play. One of those was a thrilling win in penalties against Lambert back on March 23, where the War Eagles banged in three goals in less than 30 minutes in the second half to erase a 3-0 deficit and send the match to extra time. South hasn’t faced North Gwinnett yet this season, but the Bulldogs lost 5-1 to Lambert on April 18, which bodes well for the War Eagles in this matchup.

What’s next: The winner faces either Norcross or Rockdale County in the second round.

Forsyth Central at Peachtree Ridge

When, where: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. in Suwanee

Records and seedings: Central is 9-7-2 and the No. 3 seed from Region 5; Peachtree Ridge is 11-5-2 and the No. 2 seed from Region 6.

What to know: This year’s Bulldogs squad made it into the playoffs with the same 4-6 region record as last year, but largely due to the mess of parity between then, West and Milton, Central has a No. 3 seed this year instead of a No. 4. The Bulldogs get a tough Peachtree Ridge squad that has scored two goals or more in 14 of its 18 games and hadn’t lost a game in a month before its 3-2 defeat against Collins Hill on April 17.

What’s next: The winner faces either Parkview or Grayson in the second round.

Pinecrest Academy at Weber School

When, where: Friday in Sandy Springs

Records and seedings: Pinecrest is 11-5-1 and the No. 3 seed from Area 5; Weber is 8-5-0 and the No. 2 seed from Area 6.

What to know: The Paladins certainly know how to put it in the back of the net: They're averaging more than five goals per game through their last four wins, and they netted 10 against Mount Paran on April 12. The quality of their opposition is also a strong point, as Whitefield Academy and Fellowship Christian, the two Class 1A schools that Pinecrest has lost to, are a No. 1 and No. 2 seed, respectively.

What's next: The winner faces either Wesleyan or Bowdon in the second round.