By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published June 6, 2008
For the second consecutive year the Pinecrest Academy boys soccer team made it to the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state soccer finals. The only difference was instead of capturing the title as they did in 2007, they had to settle for state runner-up after losing to North Cobb Christian School of Kennesaw 1-0.
The road to the finals began May 17 with a 6-0 victory over Westfield Schools before the Pinecrest home crowd as they hosted the first round of the playoffs. It was the constant pressure of the Pinecrest defense that made it difficult throughout the game for Westfield Schools to get off any good shots. Pinecrest senior midfielder David Weigel scored two goals, junior midfielder Michael Briemle also recorded two goals, and junior forwards Zach Carlise and Ben McCabe provided a goal apiece.
In the May 21 semifinal match at Westfield Schools in Perry, Pinecrest defeated Westminster Christian Academy of Watkinsville 5-0 to record back-to-back shutouts in the playoffs. Once again the play of the team’s defense led to offensive scoring opportunities. Freshman goalkeeper Ricardo Garcia made 13 saves. Garcia finished the season with 103 saves and a save percentage of 92.1 percent.
While Pinecrest fell short of the state title the team still achieved a season of accomplishments. As a team they scored 100 goals during the season but only allowed 14 goals to be scored on them over 19 games.
Forward Kevin Metz led Pinecrest in scoring with 14 goals, followed closely behind by midfielder Weigel with 11 and sweeper Briemle with 10. For the first time since the program’s inception, every player on the roster scored a goal this season. Briemle led the team with nine assists, while McCabe followed him with eight and Metz and Weigel recorded seven each.
Six Pinecrest players were selected to the all-region team. They include Briemle, Carlisle, Garcia, Metz, Weigel and midfielder Michael Williams.
Another four players were also selected to the all-state team. They were Briemle, Carlisle, Garcia and Metz. Head coach Ryan Leone was also named GISA North Region Soccer Coach of the Year.
Pinecrest finished the season 15-3-1. They will lose two highly regarded senior midfielders from this year’s team, Weigel and Colin Seale, yet the team should be in contention for another run at the championship next year.
Leone said, “It has been a great season for the school, the parents, and most of all the boys. I couldn’t be more proud as a coach for all their efforts and the honorable awards they have received as a school and individuals.”