Staff photo: Manny Fils Newton's Terrica Rivers (left) tries to keep Alcovy's Sage Fuller from continuing to drive the ball towards the net during Friday's game.
COVINGTON -- The Alcovy girls remained undefeated in a tie for the Region 2-AAAAAA championship with a 2-1 win over Newton, while the boys appear to have locked up a playoff spot with their 3-2 win on Friday.
The Alcovy boys (7-4, 3-1) took a big lead and appeared as if they were going to run away with the game early in the match with two Rysan Richardson goals.
The first goal came 13 minutes into the game as he outran a pair of Newton (2-7, 1-3) defenders before beating Rams keeper Albert Zachary, who had 10 saves, for the goal. Richardson made it 2-0 two minutes later after moving the ball into position before launching a missile into the back corner of the net.
Alcovy made it 3-0 with 18:17 left in the first half off a penalty kick by Jordan Adair.
"We talked all week about what was at stake in this game," Alcovy head coach Chris Edgar said. "We knew they were going to play hard and we had to get on them early."
The Rams had their chances to score, but after being stopped by the Alcovy defense inside the box, they started taking their shots from farther away giving Tigers keeper Shawn Trowbridge the time to easily get to the ball.
However, all that changed with less than three minutes left in the first half when Aaron Pierce was able to tap the ball in for a goal after it bounced over Trowbridge's attempt to cover it up.
Pierce took advantage of a lackadaisical Alcovy defense that seemed to watch the game instead of play it. With 22:46 left in the game, Pierce was able to receive a long pass and knock it in before the Alcovy defense could react.
"I told them at halftime how we had to keep the pressure on and we didn't. We played flat in the second half," Edgar said. "We were under attack the second half."
Newton played the rest of the game with more confidence, but Alcovy's defense held its groun, handing Newton its fifth one-goal loss of the season.
In the girls game, the Lady Tigers (6-4, 4-0) were definitely the more aggressive team in the first half, but Newton (0-9, 0-3) was able to keep any attempt by Alcovy from crossing the goal.
"Newton really hustled. They really wanted to win this game. They shut down a lot of our passing lanes and really crowded the ball. We had a hard time getting a good shot," Alcovy girls head coach Phil Davidson said. "We took some shots, but not many good shots."
The endless attacks by the Lady Tigers finally paid off when Sage Fuller got the ball past the keeper seven minutes into the second half.
Alcovy found the goal for the second time in the half with a kick by Jordan Alex as the ball deflected off a defender.
The Lady Rams made a charge late in the game with a goal at the 3:18 mark as Lacey Brackett hit a long free kick. But the Alcovy defense did not let the pressure get to it, stopping Newton from tying the game.
"We finally got somebody loose and was able to get a goal," Davidson said. "That took some pressure off us, but when they scored that late goal it put the pressure right back on us."