For the first time in Grady Soccer history, Grady is sending a team to the State Soccer Playoff Final Four! The Varsity Boys traveled to Rome in the 5A quarterfinal playoff game Saturday night. They faced a tough Rome team in front of a packed stadium of fans, playing in rainy and windy conditions.
The Knights dominated possession most of the game but despite multiple shots couldn’t put one in the net. They held off Rome in overtime to force a shootout. Senior Christian Briggs and freshman Keven Dorcinvil made their shots to match Rome’s two successful attempts. Two Rome players missed their shots giving Grady the edge. Junior Cory Dillard put one in the net followed by a successful attempt by Rome to tie the game at 3 shots each. Senior Tyler Randall stepped up for Grady’s final attempt and placed the ball over the Rome keeper’s head for the deciding kick.
The 1-0 (4-3PKs) win sends Grady to the Final Four on Tuesday where they take on top ranked McIntosh at 7pm. Clarkston defeated Decatur 0-2 and will take on Carrollton in the other semi-final.
The Varsity Girls season came to an end on Friday night with a tough 0-2 loss to McIntosh in the 5A Quarterfinals. The girls played hard throughout the game in front of a big crowd at Grady Stadium. It was a terrific season for the Lady Knights who lost 8 seniors last year, including 7 starters. The young team of mostly freshman and sophomores ended the season with an overall record of 12-7-1 and a conference record of 6-1-0 giving them a second place finish in Region 6.
According to Head Coach Rodney Thomas, “This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Grady Girl’s soccer program. After a rough start against some of the State’s top teams, we came together as a unit and advanced to the quarterfinals of the State playoffs.”
Grady loses three seniors this year including captains Tabby Hatem and Lily Soto, and keeper Maggie Francis. The team will miss the leadership, sportsmanship and commitment of the graduating players.
“I can’t say enough about my time with them. They are truly spectacular on and off the field,” Thomas said of the players. “They will forever be embedded in my heart. “ Coach Thomas retires after over ten years as Head Coach of the Lady Knights. Current Assistant Coach Richard Bennett will take over the team next season. The future is bright for the Lady Knights soccer program. We are proud of this team!
Congratulations to all our Grady Knights – players, fans and coaches!