RIVERDALE -- Eastside traveled to play the undefeated Charles Drew Titans in hopes of crashing their party -- and did, in a 4-1 victory.
Just minutes after kickoff the Eagles had the chance to take the lead. Eastside's Trent Taylor got fouled in the box and got a penalty kick. But the kick went wide right, keeping the game scoreless.
Midway through the half, Drew's forward took advantage of a misjudged long ball and put the Titans up 1-0. The Eagles were able to tie the game minutes later when Aubrey James sent the ball into the box, allowing Taylor to kick it in the corner.
As the second half started, Eastside was determined to win as it began to take control of the game with aggressive midfield play and confident defending, limiting Drew to only an occasional trip into Eastside territory. Austin Jenkins, off a corner kick from Jacob Alwes, put the Eagles in the lead with a diving header.
Playing with noticeable confidence, Eastside got its third goal as Taylor drove home a volley, compliments of Austin Cooper. Moments later, Cooper got his second assist of the night when his throw-in managed to make it all the way across the face of goal, where Taylor made the easy tap in.
Eastside's defense once again put in a good shift with great play from Levi Rhodes, James and Calvin Miller, who was pushed into action after regular starter Zach Pirtle went down with an injury early in the first half. Adreas Sarmiento had a great a night in goal, making some great saves when called upon.
"We are starting to jell and play as a unit," Eastside head coach Champ Young said. "We've had two good showings in a row and hope to continue to build on that."
Eastside boys team faces county rivals Alcovy on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Homer Sharp Stadium.
Eastside girls shut out Drew
The Eastside girls soccer team played its most complete game of the year against region foe Drew Tuesday night leading to a 9-0 win.
Seven different Lady Eagles (2-3 overall, 1-0 in Region 4-AAA) got involved in the score sheet for Eastside as they defeated the Lady Titans (4-4, 1-2) in the shutout.
The game winner, being the first goal, was scored by Tara Harrison when she intercepted a Drew goal kick and sent the ball to Sarah Gaddis, who forwarded the ball to Amber Lafond. who sent it back to Gaddis for the goal and a 1-0 Eastside lead in the fifth minute of the match.
Lafond stretched the lead to 2-0 when she put a penalty kick in five minutes later. Halfway through the opening half, Harrison sent a free kick into the scoring area that Gaddis stuck in the back of the net to make it 3-0. Lafond scored twice more in the first half to lead Eastside to a 5-0 halftime advantage.
On the night, Lafond would net five goals and an assist and Gaddis added her hat trick of three goals. Sophomore Alexis Langford scored her first varsity goal with 14 minutes left in the game. Harrison notched three assists while Kari Dylong, Alex Morvik and Alli Coberth each had one assist. Eastside outshot Drew 39 to 1.
"We finally got some consistent ball movement. We utilized both sides of the field very well," Lady Eagles coach Joel Singleton said. "We have no time to relax. We have a big game with Alcovy on Friday. It's always a great rivalry game."
Friday night's matchup between Eastside and Alcovy is scheduled to be played at Homer Sharp Stadium, marking the return of soccer to that historic venue. The girls match begins at 5:30 p.m. with the boys playing at 7:30 pm.