COVINGTON - The winning streak is over for the Eastside Lady Eagles after losing for the first time this season 2-0 to Hart County on Wednesday.
The Eastside boys team was able to blank the Bulldogs 6-0 in their game.
Eastside 6, Hart County 0
Eastside (6-1 overall, 4-1 Area 8-AAA), a typical second-half team, played the best two halves in one game so far this season, according to head coach Trent Weiser.
"That was the best game we've played this season, as far as playing as a team," he said. "They played great position with each other and good combo passes, which we've been trying to work on. (They were) working with each other, working well, talking a lot. They were very impressive.
"Normally we're a second-half team. I believe the first (20 minutes) we played very well, which we normally don't do. We normally come out a little slow, but they came out fired up ready to go. It's nice to have that change of having a good first half versus relying on the second before we get after it."
In the first half, the Eagles came out applying pressure from kickoff, taking 11 shots on goal and making two of them.
Caleb Kernan scored two first-half goals for the Eagles in the seventh and 19th minutes of the game before Hart County's (3-3, 1-1) Zain Rowland made it 2-1 in the 36th minute on a penalty kick.
Kernan got his hat trick two minutes into the second half after beating a defender and the keeper.
"Caleb had three goals, but it wasn't completely him," Weiser said. "There was a lot of work with everybody else. Everybody else is involved and is working well. We didn't have men out there just worrying about themselves. We really worked with each other and felt confident with each other, which is a good sign."
Less than five minutes after Kernan's third goal, Yanrick Tinker moved the ball around in the box waiting for a clear shot.
He finally got his chance and made it a 4-1 contest.
Zack Gibbs scored twice to make it 6-1 in the 48th and 53rd minutes.
Helping to keep the Bulldogs scoreless was the Eagles defense limiting the shots on goal.
Hart County had a total of five shots, two in the first half and three in the second half.
"We're also down two starters, so we had a lot of kids that really stepped up," Weiser said. "We really played well and I'm very impressed with how they stepped in to fill those shoes."
Assisting on the six goals were Gibbs, Zack Pirtle, Trent Taylor and Matt Garcia.
Hart County 2, Eastside 0
The Lady Bulldogs (3-2, 2-0) started the game applying pressure to the Eastside (6-1, 4-1) girls. Their strategy paid off as the Lady Eagles were held to five shots, including a corner kick by Tara Harrison.
"The girls need to know that if they come out and don't play like they should, they don't deserve to win," Lady Eagles coach Libba Willcox said. "I guess they thought that we would just go out there and do what we normally do, and they weren't prepared."
After a scoreless first half, Hart County's perseverance paid off when Rebecca Jones lobbed the ball over Eastside keeper Kayla Jones to make it 1-0 with 27:38 remaining in the game.
The Lady Eagles had a hard time getting their passing to click, making it difficult to move the ball down the field.
"We need to learn how to pass to our team," Willcox said. "We, for awhile, were counting out loud every time we passed to (Hart County), and we passed to them a lot more than we passed to our own team."
The final goal of the match came with 12:02 showing on the clock.
While Willcox was hoping for a perfect season, she said now that the team has a loss, it might be able to get back to playing the way they're capable.
"I don't think they're under so much pressure now," she said. "We need to settle down and play our game."
In Tuesday's game, Eastside swept Jackson County with the girls winning 7-0 while the boys grabbed a 5-2 victory.
Tinker led the boys team with two goals scored in the second half. Gibbs scored a goal and had an assist with Taylor and Kernan both adding to the score.
Joining Gibbs in the assist column was Patrick Ringle.
Eagles keeper Greg Morrell ended the game with 7 saves.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.