Chamblee dominates soccer season, ends as state champion

Chamblee High School’s girls’ soccer team won the 2023 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 5A Soccer State Championship 9-0 over previously unbeaten Greenbrier High School on May 4 in Duluth.

The win came one year after Chamblee became the first DeKalb County School District (DCSD) girls’ soccer team to ever compete for a state championship. The Lady Bulldogs also won last season’s state title game 8-1 over Midtown High School.

“I think this was something the girls were fighting for all season,” said first year head coach Carley Miles. “They’re all humble and they’re all hard workers. I think they mesh well together because of how hard they work, how humble they are, and how gracious they are on and off the field.”

In the 2023 state championship match, Kara Croone got the Chamblee Lady Bulldogs started when she knocked in a penalty kick at the 30:30 mark of the first half. Ansley Harrison made it 2-0 at the 24-minute mark when she caught up to a pass from Kourtney Osborne and got past the Greenbrier defense for a goal.

The first two goals were two of nine first half shots for the Lady Bulldogs — who controlled the tempo and ball for almost the entire first half. Greenbrier pushed past midfield a few times, but the Lady Bulldogs never let Greenbrier get a single shot on goal before halftime.

Chamblee’s third and fourth goals of the first half were handled entirely by the sister duo of Alessandra Washington and Solai Washington. The first goal was scored by Alessandra Washington on an assist from her sister. Solai Washington scored the final goal of the half on after a pass from Alessandra Washington led her into scoring position.

Alessandra Washington went down with an injury early in the second half, which let Greenbrier get a few shots off, but the Lady Bulldogs didn’t surrender a goal and took momentum back quickly.

Croone got an assist with 29:52 left to play when she found Solai Washington on a perfect cross pass to put Chamblee up 5-0. At the 26-minute mark, Washington found Cameron Pfau for a goal to make it 6-0.

Chamblee began making substitutions after going up 6-0, and backup keeper Lauren Hill made several saves to preserve Chamblee’s 17th shutout of the season.

Pfau scored again and then Solai Washington scored her third and fourth goals of the night to extend the lead to its final 9-0 margin.

The 2023 state championship marked the end of a dominant season and a dominant playoff run for Chamblee. The Lady Bulldogs outscored their playoff opponents 37-3 this season. Chamblee only gave up eight goals this season, outscoring its opponents by a combined 145-8.

Chamblee’s only blemish on the season came against Marist in a 2-2 tie on Feb. 10 — every other Chamblee game was won by the Lady Bulldogs by three or more points.

The Lady Bulldogs had a 10-0-1 record against ranked teams from various classifications, including four in Class 5A by a margin of 23-3. Chamblee was 4-0-1 against class 6A ranked opponents by a margin of 18-4 — including a tie against No. 1 Marist (2-2) and win over No. 2 Roswell (4-0).

Chamblee also had wins against Class 4A No. 6 ranked Starr’s Mill (4-0) and Class 7A No. 8 ranked Buford (3-0).

“This was a perfect way to end it. That was our plan, to work hard and win a state championship. It’s just so great to end the season this way, and I’m so proud of my team. Especially last year, being the first DeKalb team to ever win it, to do it again is just amazing,” said senior Maggie Houlihan.

Houlihan is one of several seniors on the team who Miles thanked for their success. However, Chamblee also has several key underclassmen – including four of the five Lady Bulldogs who scored in the state title game.

“They’re led by some great seniors. Senior captions who were going to miss,” said Miles. “It’s exciting to have all these young players. To see them on the field already with the talent they have and as young as they are, but to watch them grow over the next few years and still be leaders I think is going to be huge for us and the Chamblee name.”

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