The playoff-bound Alcovy girls soccer team faced the Woodland (Stockbridge) Lady Wolfpack in a non-region match Wednesday and when the dust settled, Woodland defeated the Lady Tigers 2-1 in a hard-fought, physical playoff tune-up on Senior Night at Homer Sharp Stadium in Covington.
With the win, the Lady Wolfpack improved to 13-4 on the season. The Lady Tigers dropped to 7-8 on the 2014 campaign.
“Woodland is not a bad team. We’re very evenly matched,” Alcovy coach Anna Hebert said. “It was a physical game, and I believe if we’d hustled the whole time the way we did in the second half we could’ve come out on top. So, I have an idea of some stuff we want to work on (in practice) for our playoff game.”
Neither team could establish any offensive consistency in the first half as defense and tight — and sometime rough — marking, were the order of the day.
Woodland took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after capitalizing on one of the few Lady Tigers’ mistakes, scoring the first goal of the match.
With the Lady Wolfpack applying pressure, Alcovy tried to clear the ball from the 18-yard box, but, midfielder Cecilia Davis intercepted the Lady Tigers’ clearing attempt and kicked the ball past goalkeeper Victoria Marchant with 14:26 left in the half.
Hebert’s Lady Tigers came out with much more fire and purpose in the second half, as they were able to keep the ball in Woodland’s defensive zone and stepped up the attack.
That increased pressure was rewarded at the 23:24 mark of the second half as senior striker Sage Fuller slammed home a free kick from senior midfielder Alex Jordan, knotting the score at 1-1.
From there, the physical play really picked up as both teams fought hard for the victory.
Woodland was able to prevail as forward Lauren Drinkard drilled home the winning goal with 17:05 left in the match.
Even though the scoring ended, there were still some fireworks toward the end of the match.
Woodland was attacking in the Lady Tigers’ offensive zone and took a hard foul that was not called by the referees. Some pushing and shoving resulted and the referees stopped play with 1:34 remaining in the match.
However, Woodland substitute Tania Tuggle came off the bench and confronted Alcovy defender McKenzie Rowland, bumping her and the two nearly coming to blows.
Woodland Coach Michael Flake was able to restrain Tuggle, but the damage had been done and Tuggle was given a red card and had to leave the field.
Cooler head prevailed, and the final 1:34 was played without further incident.
Alcovy begins playoff action next Wednesday as they travel to Kennesaw Mountain to face the Lady Mustangs in a Class AAAAAA showdown.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.