Aquinas left the pitch with a defeat, but coach Kevin Trammell felt good about his team’s championship chances.
On March 10, the Fighting Irish boys soccer team lost 2-1 to fellow area school Greenbrier, which competes three classifications higher at AAAA. The loss proved to Trammell he had a team capable of doing damage in Class A.
“When we walked away from the field, I knew we would have a chance in single-A,” the coach said.
Trammell was correct, and the Irish’s opponent that March day is alive as well, with both schools going on the road with a chance to win GHSA state titles tonight. Aquinas visits Atlanta International for a 7 p.m. match while the Wolfpack play at Lambert in Suwanee at 7:30 p.m.
Aquinas (16-2-1) won the Class A championship in 2005; the Wolfpack last made it to the title game in 1999 — the year before current coach Chip Warren took charge of the program.
With one game left in his high school career, a win would mean that much more to Region 2-AAAA player of the year Reed Norton.
“It’d be huge,” Norton said. “Hopefully we can make some history this year.”
The Wolfpack (20-1-1) haven’t lost a game since a 2-0 defeat to St. Pius X on March 16 and it will face its toughest test to date on the road against Lambert. The Longhorns come in at No. 7 in the latest ESPNHS Boys Soccer rankings, one spot ahead of the Wolfpack. The Longhorns have outscored opponents in the state tournament by a 17-2 margin, while the Wolfpack have scored 12 goals and have yet to allow one.
As for Aquinas, it had three consecutive one-goal victories to reach the final. The wildest win came in the quarterfinals, when it scored three goals in the last eight minutes to come back for a 3-2 win.
“When our back’s against the wall, we fight harder I guess,” senior Matt Moses said. “It scares me too much, though.”