COVINGTON - The Eastside Lady Eagles soccer team showed that it is for real this season, knocking off the Class AAA No. 9-ranked Oconee County Lady Warriors 2-1 in overtime Friday.
The win puts the Lady Eagles on top the Area 8-AAA standings with a 3-0 record and 5-0 overall.
Despite a hard fought game by the Eastside boys (4-1, 2-1), they were unable to maintain their perfect season, losing to Oconee County (4-2, 2-0) in a 3-2 battle.
Eastside 2, Oconee Co. 1 (OT)
In the first half, the Lady Eagles played a lot of defense as they let Oconee County (3-3, 1-1) bring the fight to them.
Eastside's defense, and in particular senior keeper Kayla Jones, stopped the Lady Warriors using good play and some luck.
Jones had eight saves in the first half as the defense stopped Oconee County three times in the first half.
The Eastside keeper finished the game with 16 saves.
"It was the first time that people shot on her that much. She does well when she needs to," Eastside girls coach Libba Willcox said. "She has good people in front of her but she always takes care of it when she needs to."
Oconee County had a chance to score in the first half after a cross play beat the defense. Fortunately for Eastside, the preceding attempt flew high and wide about six feet from the goal.
The Lady Eagles came out in the second half ready to take charge and almost scored first. Instead of the ball going into the net, Ashton Ziadie's kick ended up hitting the post and bouncing back to the Oconee County keeper, who was on the ground after Ziadie beat her on the play.
"I probably scared them a little bit more then they should have been scared so they came out timid. They started picking it up, and I'm very excited about how they ended up," Willcox said.
The Lady Warriors were the first ones to take the lead when Allie White scored on a high kick from the edge of the goal box. The ball sailed over Jones' hands just under the cross bar with 27:01 left to play.
Amber LaFond tied the game with 6:20 remaining in the second half off an indirect kick by Ziadie.
The Lady Eagles took the lead two minutes into overtime on a Ziadie goal and a LaFond assist.
"My friend, Amber LaFond, who's a freshman by the way, crossed this amazing ball and the keeper goes out and misses it and I was right there. I kicked it and rolls so slow and then ... goal," an excited Ziadie said.
Oconee Co. 3, Eastside 2
The Eastside Eagles were riding a wave of emotion after Caleb Kernan scored three minutes into the game.
The Warriors tried their hardest to tie the game, but Eagles' keeper Greg Morrell and defenders Lane Dobbs and Tyler Edmiston stopped whatever came before them.
However, all that emotion was quickly taken out of them when Austin Lewis scored on a penalty kick and a header with 15:15 and 9:08 left in the first half.
"That (penalty kick and second goal) really got into my head, so I'm sure it got into theirs as well," Eastside boys coach Trent Weiser said. "If bad things happen you can either learn from it and get better or it's going to ride on you."
Oconee County extended its lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half on a James Thomas kick before Trent Taylor scored for Eastside with 13:40 showing on the clock.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.