ATLANTA -- Eastside's boys soccer team played against the kind of team it hoped to be in its 7-1 loss to Class AAA No. 4-ranked Woodward Academy on Tuesday.
"Everything they do is real tight in the middle. It's where we want to be," Eastside boys head coach Champ Young said. "They played the exact formation that we did, they played the same style that we did, it's just that their players are a little older and a little (more) advanced as far as club ball and it showed."
When the game started, Young knew his players were in trouble as they were always half a step behind the War Eagles. No matter what Eastside tried offensively, Woodward was there to stop it before anything developed, allowing the Eagles only one shot on goal for the game. One reason could be the faster pace the War Eagles are used to playing at on their artificial-turf field.
"We're not going to make the field an excuse, but it exposes when you don't play quickly and these kids play on this all the time," Young said. "Their speed of play was so much faster than ours. We took a good half to realize what we were doing and getting to where we needed to be."
Woodward Academy scored six minutes into the game on a ball that sophomore keeper Andres Sarmiento almost stopped.
It looked like Eastside was starting to get the feel of the field and had the momentum shifting when a questionable call allowed Woodward to shoot a penalty kick five minutes later.
The War Eagles continued to dominate for the rest of the first half as they took a 7-0 lead.
In the second half, the Eagles started playing up to their ability as they kept Woodward off the scoreboard with freshman Daniel Powers guarding the net.
"I'm proud of those two," Young said of his two keepers. "They battled and will only make each other better."
Eastside scored its lone goal with 6:22 left in the game on a Trent Taylor penalty kick.