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Alcovy Lady Tigers' season ends via first round loss to Lakeside-Evans
Zariah Strozier
Zariah "Z" Strozier (4) scored the Lady Tigers' lone goal in their loss to Lakeside-Evans in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs. - photo by Garrett Pitts

EVANS, Ga. — Alcovy girls soccer downed by stout Lakeside scoring attack

The Alcovy Lady Tigers’ season came to an end Thursday after a long trip to Lakeside-Evans for the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs.

The game was called early into the second half with the Lady Panthers winning 11-1 via mercy rule.

Alcovy trailed from the opening moments and could not find a way back into the game. Ultimately, the Lakeside scoring attack proved to be too much.

Following the loss, first-year head coach Toby Davis spoke about the team’s effort this year, along with a plan to improve over the offseason.

“Just telling them we are going to get better over the offseason. We are going to get better, I told them, ‘We are a young team, we only have four seniors leaving,’” Davis said. “We just have to build our stamina and endurance up. I told them that we are all going to try to get into club ball to get better.”

The one goal scored from the Lady Tigers in the first round came from sophomore Zariah Strozier, who single-handedly carved up the Lakeside defenders.

Late in the first half, Strozier dribbled her way around four different Lady Panthers defenders before rifling the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. 

From the early stages, Lakeside was in control.

After missing a shot in the opening minute, the Lady Panthers did not miss a second opportunity as they moved ahead 1-0 with a goal from Elizabeth Lanclos less than two minutes into the game.

Minutes later, Lakeside’s Lillie Sheffield shot the ball across Lady Tigers’ keeper Latara Lewis into the left side of the net to lead 2-0.

By the end of the opening 10 minutes, Lanclos and Sheffield netted a brace with a goal apiece to extend the Lady Panthers lead to 4-0.

With 25 minutes left in the first half, Sheffield sealed her hat trick with a long shot that went inches over the hands of Lewis in goal.

The Lady Panthers added on two more goals from Lilly Dial and Elise Graybill to make it a 7-0 lead heading toward halftime before Strozier posted Alcovy’s lone goal from Thursday.

Although they did not get the final goal before halftime, Lakeside came out of intermission with momentum.

In the first five minutes of the half, the Lady Panthers put the ball in the back of the net twice more.

Following a converted penalty from Lakeside’s Elinor Timmons, the Lady Panthers scored their 11th goal with 26 minutes remaining to end the game via mercy rule.

Alcovy’s 11-1 loss puts its season record at 9-5 in Davis’ first year as head coach.

The Lady Tigers etched their spot in the playoffs with a 5-2 record and a third place finish in Region 3-AAAAAA play. 

The end of the season marked the coming departure of four Alcovy seniors, including Lewis, Tania Menchaca, Daria Sherman and Valery Ayala Chavez.

Alcovy’s postseason berth is its second in a row following a six-year playoff drought.

Though he spent one season with them, Davis discussed the impact that the four players had on the program and the future of Alcovy soccer.

“They are going to leave a big legacy behind,” Davis said. “I’m going to miss those four seniors right there. I got to know them this year for a brief moment and I love them already.”