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What you need to know as Johnson boys face St. Pius X in Class AAAA soccer state title game
Senior striker Fabian Abarca (44 goals) will lead top-ranked Knights on Saturday in Macon
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The undefeated Johnson High Knights (20-0-1) will face St. Pius X Saturday afternoon in the Class AAAA soccer state championship at Mercer University's Five Star Stadium in Macon.

Class AAAA state championship game
Who: No. 1 Johnson (20-0-1) vs. No. 5 St. Pius X (16-5)
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Five Star Stadium, 1327 Stadium Dr, Macon, GA 31207
Tickets: $12 per day

Saturday
Noon - AAAA Girls: Marist vs. St. Pius
2:30 pm - AAAA Boys: St. Pius vs. Johnson-Gainesville
5:00 pm - AAAAA Girls: Columbus vs. McIntosh
7:30 pm - AAAAA Boys: Riverwood vs. Northgate

The Johnson High boys soccer team is seeking its first state title in program history Saturday afternoon at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium in Macon.

The top-ranked, undefeated Knights (20-0-1) will tackle three-time defending state champion St. Pius X in the Class AAAA state championship game.

Here are the news and notes you need to know as the Knights and Golden Lions clash in the GHSA Class AAAA state championship.

Johnson is led by senior striker and University of North Georgia commit Fabian Abarca, who has scored 44 goals so far this season, including eight so far in the playoffs.

Abarca notched two goals against Fayette County, three against Pike County, one against Southeast Whitfield and two versus Buford.

Johnson hasn’t lost since last season’s quarterfinal defeat to Cross Keys. Freshman goalkeeper Cooper Bowen has recorded eight shutouts so far this season.

St. Pius X is on a seven-game win streak dating back to April 12. This will be the last game in charge for Golden Lions coach David O’Shea, as he is leaving after nine years to pursue other teaching opportunities.

NEW FACES TO WATCH: St. Pius X is led by three senior standouts, according to O’Shea.

Goalkeeper Jake Beyer has conceded just three goals in his short time on the field this year. He’s recently returned to his starting spot after an injury took him out at the beginning of the season, according to O’Shea.

JR Cozine (11 goals) is expected to be a strong cog in midfield, as he brings a lot of creativity with the ball at his feet.
Austin Fain (19 goals) is described as a strong, physical player with close control and a knack for goal.

Beyer is headed to play for Gardner-Webb, Cozine will play for University of South Carolina Upstate and Fain is an Anderson University signee.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: According to the GHSA, the St. Pius X boys soccer team has won 11 state titles.

St. Pius X has won a state title each of the last three years, and four in last five seasons.

Johnson is seeking its first state title in school history. Johnson last played in the 2014 Class AAAA state final, falling to Dalton.

POSTSEASON PATH: Johnson (No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAA) defeated Fayette County (8-0), Pike County (6-4), Southeast Whitfield (1-0) and Buford (2-1) to reach the title game.

St. Pius X (No. 4 seed from Region 6-AAAA) defeated Northwest Whitfield (3-0), Wayne County (8-1), Spalding (3-1) and Cairo (3-0) to reach Saturday’s final.

IF JOHNSON WINS: Johnson earns Class AAAA state championship and finishes season at 21-0-1.

St. Pius finishes season at 16-6.

IF ST. PIUS X WINS: St. Pius X earns Class AAAA state championship and finishes at 17-5.

Johnson finishes season at 20-1-1.

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