By Glendon Poe
The Fort Payne boys soccer team makes its return to the AHSAA State Soccer Championships this week.
Cristian Barrientos scored a second-half penalty kick to help lift Class 6A’s top-ranked Wildcats past Randolph 1-0 and into the state semifinals last Friday night.
The Wildcats (24-2-2) play Homewood for a spot in the 6A state championship match at 1 p.m. Thursday at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. Homewood defeated Gardendale 3-0 in the quarterfinal round. The Fort Payne/Homewood winner will play the winner of the Calera/Montgomery Academy matchup for the state title at 11 a.m. Saturday.
In last Friday’s 6A quarterfinals, Fort Payne played Randolph to a scoreless halftime draw before Barrientos booted the go-ahead goal by way of penalty kick in the 44th minute.
The Wildcats’ defense delivered another smothering performance, allowing only three total shots in the match. Fort Payne finished with 23 total shots, with 16 on-goal attempts.
In 1A/3A boys, Collinsville’s season ended in a 2-1 loss at Westminster-Oak Mountain in a quarterfinal-round match last Saturday. The Panthers went 14-3-4 across the 2023 season after beating Tarrant 2-1 in the opening round.
Final Four tickets and parking:
Tickets will be available for purchase through GoFan. All tickets must be purchased through GoFan. Tickets will not be sold onsite. Ticket takers will redeem tickets at entry. Screenshots and tickets that have already been redeemed will not be accepted.
Parking is $5 and will be sold through GoFan to speed up the parking process — this is a separate ticket from your admission ticket. Spectator parking will be available at Joe Davis Stadium, Lots 1 and 2. Shuttles will be available to take you from Joe Davis Stadium to the Jaycee Community Building, a short walk from the spectator entrance. Handicapped parking will be available at the Jaycee Community Building.