Alcovy boys’ soccer had a bittersweet ending to its 2013 season Wednesday.
East Coweta defeated the fourth-seeded Tigers 8-0 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs, ending a historic season.
It was the first time the Alcovy boys’ soccer team has ever made the state playoffs in the school’s seven-year history. It just so happened to run into the state’s third-ranked team.
“It was bittersweet that we made the playoffs and then to go out in that fashion, hurt,” Alcovy coach Chris Edgar said. “They were a superb team, and I won’t be surprised if they go on to win the state. If they were the third-ranked team, I hate to see the first team. They did not have a weakness.”
The Indians’ (17-0-1) strength is their two twin strikers, both headed to Mercer after the 2013 season. The two brothers didn’t play the first 15 minutes as Alcovy kept it close. However, they then scored three goals each, helping to lead East Coweta to a second-round appearance against either Camden County or Campbell.
“We knew we had to stop them,” Edgar said.
Alcovy did just that in the first half, giving up two goals, on what Edgar said were mistakes. Alcovy goalkeeper Shawn Trowbridge played well, tallying around 20 saves, including some acrobatic dives.
However, in the third half, East Coweta’s talent caught up with the Tigers.
“We were prepared, and we had a really good team plan going into it,” Edgar said. “Unfortunately, we got the No. 3 ranked team in the state, which hadn’t lost a game.”
After a close first-half, the Tigers gave up six goals in the second and the first set of players Edgar ever coached at Alcovy saw their season come to an end.
“It was very special, especially considering this group of seniors played for me as eighth graders,” Edgar said. “We’ve been kind of building for this season for many years.”
A tiebreaker rule with Rockdale put the Tigers in the fourth seed after a 17-win season, but still brought them to the playoffs for the first time ever. For seniors Rysan Richardson, Derrick Felix and Luke Hall, who have been with Edgar since eighth grade, and Daniel Grothaus and Trowbridge, who have been with the team since ninth grade, it was the last time they would make the playoffs. However, the Tigers had many underclassmen involved in the unprecedented experience, something Edgar hopes he can build on.
“Our goal was to make the state playoffs and, fortunately, with all the adversity we faced with injuries and other off-the-field things we did,” Edgar said. “I was extremely happy with what they accomplished. I challenge the underclassmen to keep it going.”