After an even first half against its rivals, the Alcovy girls soccer team turned up the intensity Tuesday night at Homer Sharp Stadium, scoring a pair of second-half goals to outlast Eastside 3-1.
Midfielders Alex Jordan and Destiny Hardy netted the Tigers’ two goals in the final 28 minutes of play, breaking open a deadlocked contest at halftime.
Katie Barton assisted on two of the Lady Tigers’ three scores, and Alcovy coach Anna Hebert said Alcovy’s motivation entering the rivalry game was simple – revenge.
“It feels great to get the win tonight,” Hebert said. “The girls were upset that they lost to Eastside last year, so they really wanted to win this one. We played well today and it always feels nice to get a win in a big county rivalry game.”
With the game tied 1-1 at halftime, Alcovy needed just 13 minutes in the second half to distance itself from the Lady Eagles. With 27:11 on the clock,
Jordan freed herself from the Lady Eagles’ defense with a spin move deep in Eastside territory, brushing off her defender for a shot attempt. Jordan’s strike found the back of the net, lifting over Eastside’s Brooke Arwood for the score.
The goal came after the Lady Tigers missed on a pair of scoring opportunities inside the first 10 minutes, which kept the score knotted at 1-1.
Hardy added the Lady Tigers’ insurance goal with 5:20 remaining in the contest, using a Jordan corner kick to find the net. Jordan’s corner sliced through Eastside’s defense, and the Lady Eagles were unable to clear the ball. Hardy took advantage of the loose ball, tapping it in for the goal. The score extended Alcovy’s lead to two, and the Lady Eagles were unable to mount a comeback in the game’s waning minutes.
“I think the difference tonight was our attitude in the second half,” Hebert said. “We passed the ball better and moved to ball around, and overall, our communication was better than it had been in the first half.”
Eastside struck first in the opening half, scoring in the 19th minute from long range. The Lady Eagles’ Alli Coberth recovered the ball after an Eastside corner kick, firing off a shot from outside the penalty box that careened past the reach of Alcovy’s keeper into the left corner of the net.
Alcovy’s Sage Fuller tied the game with 17:33 remaining in the first half on a feed from Barton. Barton found Fuller in open space to the right of the goal, and Fuller controlled the ball with a pair of touches and a strike to the left corner. The shot rolled in, tying the contest before halftime
Fuller had a chance to push the Lady Tigers ahead with 10 seconds to go before the break, sprinting past her defender on the right sideline for a scoring opportunity. Morgan Green saved the goal, however, knocking Fuller’s shot away.
Eastside coach Joel Singleton said the game’s outcome was disappointing, but the Lady Eagles still had a lot of time to work on their game.
“When they got the second goal in the second half, we possibly got a little down on ourselves and laid back when we should have been attacking,” Singleton said. “We sat back and waited and hoped that they didn’t score again instead of getting out there. We got passive when it was time for us to step up and be aggressive. It’s something we’re going to have to continue to work on, and I take a lot of responsibility for that.
“We worked hard, and I like the effort we put out. We just have to continue to bring the intensity we had in the first half tonight to a full game,” he said. “It is a non-region game and it’s early, so we still have a lot of time to get better.”
The win was just the second for the Lady Tigers in their series with the Lady Eagles. Eastside leads the all-time series 6-2-1.
Eastside returns to action Friday on the road at Sandy Creek, while the Lady Tigers are off for the remainder of this week.