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Record-setting season ends for Lady 'Cats
RHHS falls in Elite 8 to North Atlanta
Richmond Hill High Schools Nia Gordon tries to get past the North Atlanta defense during a Class AAAAA quarterfinal game Friday in Atlanta. Richmond Hill lost 3-1 to end its season with a 19-1 record. - photo by Photo by Bryan Browning

Its run at a state championship ended Friday, but that didn’t dampen what the Richmond Hill High School girls’ soccer team accomplished this season.

The Lady Wildcats fell 3-1 to North Atlanta in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals, ending their record-setting season with a 19-1 record.
“What a season,” Richmond Hill head coach Steve Kollman said.

On the heels of the first undefeated regular season in team history and a Region 3-AAAAA championship, the Lady Wildcats earned their third trip to the Elite Eight in the last four seasons and seventh in Kollman’s 14 years as coach.

Along the way, RHHS set school records for total goals in a season with 127 and goals per game at 6.35. West Virginia University signee Nia Gordon entered the record book with six goals in one game and 59 for the season, surpassing Lindsey Vasher’s mark of 45.

Goals were tougher to come by in the state quarterfinal, though. North Atlanta (16-4) allowed only a goal by freshman Grace Kiser, while Emma Kurtz scored all three for the Lady Warriors.

“They were a quality Atlanta team. You don’t get any cheapies in the final eight,” Kollman said. “The game was very even. They had a tad more athleticism and team speed than we did, but we pressured them the whole way.”

A strength for the Lady Wildcats all season escaped them in the Elite Eight, according to Kollman. RHHS had several chances in front of the net and within the scoring box, but converted only one.

“For a team that averaged scoring on 25-plus percent of its chances, being at 8 to 10 percent was our undoing,” he said. “If we convert at our normal rate, we score three or four and probably win at home.

“But that is why you play the game,” Kollman added.

Five seniors played their final game for Richmond Hill: Gordon, Casey Qua, Jasmine Marquez, Jamie Menhart and Tanner Boyle. The seniors racked up a 63-15-3 record in their four years, with four trips to the state tournament, three appearances in the Elite Eight and a pair of region championships.

Gordon is one of three RHHS seniors who have signed to play soccer in college. Qua will attend Brenau University, and Marquez will head to Point University.

The Lady Wildcats’ accomplishments this year also included a 6-1 record against top 10-ranked teams and wins over two teams from Class AAAAAA, Georgia’s highest classification. Richmond Hill was ranked between No. 8 and No. 1 in the state throughout the season.

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