COVINGTON — The Rockdale boys soccer team put Tigers on their heels in their 4-2 win while the Lady Bulldogs forced the game into overtime before falling to Alcovy 3-2 on Thursday.
The Rockdale girls (4-10 overall, 1-4 Region 2-AAAAAA) scored the first goal 12 minutes into the game as Vanessa Rome took advantage of a breakdown in the Alcovy (7-6, 4-1) defense.
They held the lead until the 7:58 mark when Taylor Crews scored on a penalty kick when a Lady Bulldogs defender touched the ball in front of the net.
The Lady Bulldogs had several chances to take the lead before the end of the first half but the move of Alcovy head coach Anna Hebert paid off. Hebert decided to take defender Katie Barton off the field and put her in as goalkeeper.
“I was worried I was robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Hebert said. “But I realized that not only will she be physical at goal but she’ll keep her head about her. She doesn’t let one bad thing keep her down so that was crucial.”
Barton finished the game with 15 saves including several going head on against a Rockdale forward and several when she was out manned.
The Lady Tigers had fate on their side early in the second half as an Alcovy shot hit the crossbar only to have it fall in front of Alex Jordan who kicked it in for the go-ahead goal midway through the second half.
Rockdale started going on the offensive putting pressure on the Lady Tigers defense. Their efforts paid off with 11:16 left in regulation when Rome found the back of the net as Barton was charging the ball.
Alcovy started attacking hard for the final minutes of the game but Rockdale’s defense was able to hold them off forcing the game into overtime.
“We suffered some injuries from some key players but our team played heroic,” Rockdale head coach Greg Duffey said. “Meghan Myers is a backbone on defense and an upperclassman. Margaux Bowie (midfielder) went down and those are vital positions. When you plan for a game that includes those cogs in your wheel it’s tough to adjust on the fly.”
The Lady Tigers scored the winning goal with 3:22 left in the first overtime period when Jordan crossed the ball to Blakely Dimsdale.
“We’ve been working a lot on crossing it and being there for the cross. Blakely has a beautiful touch,” Hebert said. “She knows how to wait it, she doesn’t overpower it.”
The Rockdale boys came in hard and fast forcing Alcovy to play defense limiting their offensive attempts.
“I told them at halftime that we haven’t played soccer in 120 minutes. We didn’t play well on Tuesday and we didn’t play well (Thursday) night. This was too important of a game for us to come in with that type of attitude and Rockdale is too good of a team,” Alcovy boys head coach Chris Edgar said.
The Bulldogs took a commanding 3-0 lead to end the first half with Dominic Dixon, Shad-I Dawkins and Devon Dawkins putting the ball in the net.
“We always come out and try to play hard in the first half because it’s about starting and setting that tone,” Rockdale head coach Alf Holst said. “We were very offensive minded in the first half.”
Alcovy caught a break nine minutes into the second half as Brett Farr scored to make it 3-1 off a penalty kick.
The Tigers had several opportunities to close the gap a few minutes later but they were unable to covert.
“There’s a lot of frustration. I’m frustrated and the team is frustrated. When we’re on, we’re on. But when we’re off we’re really off. We have to find some consistency if we’re going to do anything in the state playoffs.”
Rockdale extended their lead to 4-1 when Devon Dawkins took the ball at midfield and dribbled all the way into the box untouched scoring the goal with 10 minutes left.
The Bulldogs did just as much as the Alcovy defense to stop their scoring attempts as they called offside 17 times.
“There were a few where we were a little too eager,” Holst said. “I think we started playing more direct rather than how we did in the first half playing more of a possession game.”
The Tigers continued to battle as Houston Kent scoring a goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
“At halftime I thought they responded and they came out hard to play the second half but it was late against a quality team,” Edgar said.