It had been 83 days, but the wall finally cracked. Westminster’s Kiera Staude rose above the crowd, heading home a corner kick in the 19th minute to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. It was the first goal North Oconee had conceded since Feb 10.

Staude’s goal was one of two scored by Westminster out of Atlanta in their 2-1 victory over North Oconee in the GHSA AAAA girls state soccer championship on Thursday, May 4. 

University of Virginia commit Allie Ross supplied the assist on the corner kick and added a goal of her own with a curled strike in the 46th minute to make the difference.

For Westminster, the eight time’s the charm. The Wildcats have now won eight state titles in a row, a streak that dates back to 2016. It’s a streak that has crossed across classifications, this being their first title in AAAA after moving up from AAA.

For North Oconee, their 2023 season marked another chapter in a very successful run under coach Ben Grassmyer. This season was the third in a row that the Titans made at least the Final Four in state, including a championship win in 2021. 

“I’m just proud of them, that’s all you can really say,” Grassmyer said. “It’s been the team for me, it’s been the team that’s made me fall back in love with coaching. They’ve been a joy to be around and really set the standard of what a team is.” 

North Oconee didn’t go down without a fight. Down 2-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining, Grace Maddox scored on a long-range free kick.

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