Lady Eagles end season with shutout loss

COLUMBUS -- Eastside's girls soccer team ran into a tough Columbus girls team as the Lady Blue Devils scored five goals in each half of the second round of the Class AAA playoffs in their 10-0 loss on Wednesday.

There were several factors which led to the loss but the two which had the biggest impact were the size of the field and the shot-on-goal differential. The Lady Eagles had four shots on goal compared to 26 for Columbus.

"We were on a wider field, not that I'm making excuses, but it made a difference," Eastside head coach Joel Singleton said. "There's about 45 more feet than we're used to. Our game plan coming in was not to let them stretch us wide, to keep it in the middle. We didn't do that. We overplayed when we did and it left our middle wide open. They're too good of a team; they're No. 4 for a reason."

Eastside started the game like it had a mission as it attacked the Class AAA-ranked team. But the Lady Blue Devils were able to hold off the attacks, scoring first nine minutes into the game.

"We came out in the first 10 minutes and put pressure on them. I think it surprised them because we possess really well," Singleton said.

After Amber LaFond was tripped and no penalty was called, Columbus moved the ball back up the field with Mallory Lotz scoring from long range,

The Lady Blue Devils turned scoring from outside the box into an art form as three of the next four first half goals came from long range.

"They don't hesitate, we knew that coming in. They put their foot on the ball and we knew they take long shots. We need to be more patient," said Singleton. "They just kept us off-balance and used the space."

Columbus really put the game away after scoring twice inside the first 10 minutes of the second half as they kept Eastside's defense on their heels. But Lady Blue Devils head coach Russell Oliver was not satisfied with the win as he kept his starters in the game, getting the 10th goal with 3:15 left on the clock.

"They had more people make more plays than we were able to cover," Singleton said.

"Our effort is always there. I told the girls that this group works just as hard as any group I've ever had. We started the season 2-5 and out of our last 13 games we finished 10-2-1, losing to Columbus and Heritage, who is ranked in Class AAAA."