A second half spark ignited the Alcovy boys soccer team Monday night at Sharp Stadium against visiting Newnan, helping the Tigers overcome a two-goal deficit in the final 40 minutes of play.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Tigers poured on the offense in the final period, netting four second-half goals in a 4-2 comeback victory over the Cougars in non-region play.
Four different Tigers scored in the comeback bid and Newnan couldn’t respond after melting down on the field. The Cougars yelled, screamed and begged officials for a whistle when no foul was there, as the Tigers scored goal after goal while slicing up Newnan’s defense.
While Alcovy’s Johvaughn Destin was ejected in the second half for retaliating after a Newnan push that didn’t draw a card from officials, it was the Tigers that kept their composure down the stretch during the physical contest.
“It was a physical game and there have been times this season that we haven’t been able to keep our composure,” Alcovy coach Chris Edgar said. “It’s the nature of the game, but we were able to keep our composure tonight and I’m proud of them. They’re learning on that end.”
Trailing by two goals at halftime, the Tigers wasted little time finding the back of the net in the second half, scoring just seven minutes into the period. Alcovy’s Colin Williams received the ball at midfield and turned and split his defenders with a pass, sending the ball to Houston Kent down the right sideline. Kent burned the Cougars’ defense down the field and sent a shot to the goal, bringing Alcovy within one of Newnan.
Jordan Adair tied the game 15 minutes later at the 18:41 mark, taking a penalty kick after Justin Adair was fouled in the box. Adair kept his shot low and to the right of the keeper, finding the back of the net and evening the game.
With the game tied the Cougars began to lose their cool and Alcovy capitalized. Destin was ejected near the 15 minute mark and the Tigers had to play a man down, but Newnan’s Connor Cox, who scored both of the Cougars’ goals in the first half, sat out the final 13:53 after drawing a yellow card.
With Cox on the bench, the Tigers’ defense had more opportunities to score.
Alcovy took the lead with 12:46 to go in the game on a run again started by Williams. Williams again fount Kent on the sideline, but this time, Kent sent a pass across the face of the goal instead of trying to score, catching Newnan’s defenders off balance. The cross found Justin Adair wide open on the back side of the net and Adair tapped the ball in, breaking the deadlocked contest.
With a 3-2 lead, Williams added a goal with seven minutes remaining, connecting on a 20-yard strike from the right corner of the penalty box that darted past Newnan’s keeper.
The goal pushed Alcovy’s advantage to 4-2 and Newnan was unable to regain its early momentum, falling by the two-goal deficit.
“We told them at halftime that we saw our offense making good runs,” Edgar said. “We just wanted them to keep hammering, keep hammering. Early in the season we wanted to send 40-yard strikes down field, but now we’re starting to put the short passes together. They’re starting to gain confidence. That’s three wins in a row now and we’re starting to peak at the right time. They’re starting to come together as a team.”
Cox led the Cougars with a pair of scores in the opening half, scoring his first goal with 16 minutes gone in the opening period before extending Newnan’s lead to 2-0 before the half.
Alcovy looks for its fourth consecutive win Friday at home against Druid Hills in region play.