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Boys soccer: Previews of first round state playoff games
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Forsyth Central is in the state playoffs for the first time since 2003, but the Bulldogs face a tough challenge against No. 2-ranked Berkmar. - photo by Brian Paglia

Central Gwinnett at Lambert

When, where: Friday, 7 p.m., at The Horn in Suwanee.

Records, rankings, seedings: Central Gwinnett is 7-10, unranked in Class 7A and the No. 4 seed from Region 7-7A; Lambert is 12-4-1, unranked and the No. 1 seed from Region 5.

What to know: This is the Longhorns’ eighth straight state playoff appearance, certainly a record for boys soccer programs in the county, but Lambert hasn’t won a state playoff game since reaching the state quarterfinals in 2013. They lost 2-1, 2-0 and 1-0 in the first round since then. If senior forwards Eoin Griffiths and Zane Ziegler are clicking, that streak could end.

What’s next: Will face the Tift County-Hillgrove winner.

 

Forsyth Central at Berkmar

When, where: Friday, 7 p.m., at Patriot Field in Lilburn.

Records, rankings, seedings: Central is 9-8, unranked in Class 7A and the No. 4 seed from Region 5-7A; Berkmar is 13-1-1, ranked No. 2 and the No. 1 seed from Region 7.

What to know: The Bulldogs are in the state playoffs for the first time since 2003, a wonderful accomplishment for third-year head coach Will Gifford and the program. But as the No. 4 seed, they got a tough draw: Berkmar, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 7A, who won a state title as recently as 2013 in Class 6A, then the highest classification.

What’s next: Will face the Marietta-Colquitt County winner.

 

Meadowcreek at South Forsyth

When, where: Friday, 7 p.m., at War Eagle Stadium in Cumming.

Records, rankings, seedings: Meadowcreek is 12-5, unranked in Class 7A and the No. 3 seed from Region 7-7A; South is 12-5-1, ranked No. 8 and the No. 2 seed from Region 5.

What to know: The War Eagles are back in the state playoffs for the first time since 2014 and looking for its first state playoff win since 2012 when South was in Class 4A, then the second-highest classification. The War Eagles seem to have the components to make a run with capable strikers, creative midfielders, a strong backline and versatile keepers.

What’s next: Will face the Camden County-Kennesaw Mountain winner.