Briarwood boys win state soccer championship
By DREW GRANTHUM/For the Reporter
The AHSAA Class 5A Boys Soccer State Semifinals saw the Briarwood Lions get out to an early lead and then hold on for dear life as Athens High led an absolutely furious charge to try and comeback and beat them.
The finals saw them get in control early and never look back, taking down St. Paul’s 3-0.
Briarwood used ball control to dominate the game, allowing the Saints just seven total shots, and only two in the second half. The Lions used a Kyle Kimel (who was also the Game MVP) pass to Grant Janich who put it in to take a 1-0 lead at the 23-minute mark. Five minutes later, Kimel followed suit with a goal of his own. Janich scored again 65 minutes in, sealing the game for the Lions.
“For whatever reason, we decided to play kickball early on,” said Coach Mark Wallace. “We’re going against the wind, we kept pushing the ball into the wind, and we [weren’t] getting anywhere. We were basically giving it back to them. The first time we strung about eight or nine passes together on the ground, we scored. At that point, it’s like something went off in their heads and they realized ‘There’s another way we can do this!’”
The championship is the fourth in school history, and the first since 2007.
Kimel led the team with four shots, with Conner Lee loggin three. Goalkeeper Jordan Box totaled three saves, and according to Wallace, only gave up one goal the entire tournament.
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