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Eastside faces Westside, Augusta in first round

COVINGTON -- Even though this is the fourth straight year the Eastside girls have made it to the Class AAA playoffs, it's the first time they will be hosting. Westside, Augusta comes to Cousins Middle School today at 6 p.m.

"We play better there. The girls are more relaxed there. It's exciting and less stressful than going on the road. There are so many distractions on the road. There could be distractions to playing at home, but for this team I think it's going to help us," said Eastside girls head coach Joel Singleton. "For the first time we come in either even or with an edge over the opponent. That hasn't been the case in the last three years."

Even though the Lady Patriots (13-3) don't have any super players, what they do have is a solid group of girls with one goal -- win. However, it's hard to get a true feeling of how good they really are considering that they do not play teams outside their geographical area on a regular basis. After watching them on film, if Singleton had to compare them to one of their opponents this season he would compare them to Locust Grove, a team they beat 3-0.

"They have good players but nobody that really stands out. They have a midfielder that's pretty good. Their defense is solid, their keeper makes the stops she should. The biggest thing we have to do is keep pressure on them," said Singleton. "They take the opportunities when they have them. Most teams they play have out shot them. They'll score one or two goals on five or six shots. The biggest thing is that if they get in our area we have to stop them.

"The key is to control the midfield and take advantage of their corner defenders. They like to pull everybody to one side and leave the backside open. We want to take advantage of that."

Offensively, the Lady Eagles (11-6-1) have proved that they can score as they had 73 goals this season. They have also proven that Eastside keeper Carly Farrow can keep the Lady Eagles in a game with nine shutouts. The Lady Eagles defense allowed 33 goals with seven coming against Class AAAA No. 10 ranked Heritage.

"She gave up one region goal in seven games," Singleton said of Farrow. "A lot of maturity this season from last year. We lost some games early in the season but she kept us in it."