COVINGTON — The Eastside girls soccer team had a dismal season last year losing four region games by a goal causing them to miss the playoffs. With seven players returning from that team, Eastside head coach Joel Singleton is hoping they can it behind them and start fresh.
“That made it tough. They ever quit, but it’s kind of like what are we going to do about that goal. That was a struggle. This year that’s something that, hopefully, we’ll look at it differently as far as what we were trying to do,” Singleton said. “I’m calling it a refocusing year. Last year was a down year for us in the region.”
Making the task of improving from last season’s 6-10 record where they finished last in Region 8-AAAA play with a 1-7 record more difficult is that they will replacing seven seniors of which five were starters. Making Singleton feel good about the chances of improving from last year and beyond is that he still has six players with varsity experience and only three seniors. One of those returning is Lexi Langford. The Eastside senior did not play last season because of an ACL injury.
“She’s excited to get back out there,” Singleton said of Langford. “The other senior girls, they’re like this is not the way we want to finish things.
“For my younger girls, it was their first time playing varsity so they didn’t know what to expect. Being that they’ve had a year they know better what to expect this year. The attitude has been real positive.”
The Lady Eagles will start their season on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Heritage. Some of the other non-region opponents include Clarke Central, Jasper County and Morgan County.
“They’re excited about who we’re going to be playing,” Singleton said. “We open the season with Heritage and with the weather that’s not going to help us.”
Besides finishing with a record of 10-8, or better according to Singleton, the other goal the Lady Eagles want to attain is to make it back to the playoffs.
“Last year, if you took away the two games we lost in overtime, the two games we lost by one-goal and we win three of those four we’re in the playoffs as a four seed. But once you get in there’s nothing guaranteed but at least you have the opportunity,” Singleton said.
“We’re so young having eight first-year varsity players and three freshmen that played a lot for our jv last year. They did a really great job and did really worked hard this off season.”