HAMPTON, Ga. — The Eastside High School girls' soccer team won a mercy rule-shortened game over the Hampton Lady Hornets, a Region 4-AAAA foe, 10-0 on Tuesday evening. The win improves the No. 10 Lady Eagles to 4-2, 1-1 in 4-AAAA, on the season.
It was career victory No. 100 for their head coach Joel Singleton, who becomes the first coach in Eastside soccer program history, boys or girls, to reach the century mark level of success.
"In regards to it being win 100, that just means I've been at it a while," Singleton said with a laugh. "But seriously, I work at a school with a supportive fan and parent base that is a great soccer community. We've had a lot of wonderful ladies come through our program (who) put in a lot of time and effort to allow us to be in position to be successful. I'm very blessed."
It took a little while for Eastside to get its offense in gear but once it got started, it went wild. Lizzie Teasley sent one of her David Beckham-style corner kicks bending into the Hampton goal 12 minutes into the match for what would prove to be the game-winner. With 25:07 to play it was 2-0 after Aralyn Everett scored off a Katie Oakley assist. Soon after Karissa Aldridge made a big defensive play, rejecting the ball at the Eastside goal line, to keep the Lady Hornets off the scoreboard.
At the 22:02 mark, Oakley stole the ball off the foot of a Hampton defender and fired it into the net to make it 3-0. Lady Eagle Jordyn Jones made a save on a Hampton corner kick, clearing the ball away from the far post to maintain the shutout. With 16:35 left in the half, Oakley sent a ball to Teasley who forwarded it to Everett, who netted her second goal to stretch the Eastside lead to 4-0. Teasley almost sent another corner kick directly into the Lady Hornets' net but the Hampton goalkeeper punched it back out on the pitch.
The match stayed 4-0 until Liz Ozburn sent a long thru ball to Everett who secured her hat trick with 5:51 on the clock. Lauren Davis and Mya Cummings added their names to the scoresheet less than two minutes later when Davis assisted on a Cummings goal to push the score to 5-0. Anna Shelton later got into the action when she fielded a long ball bouncing toward the Eastside goal. In the final minute of play, Ozburn rebounded her own shot off a Hampton defender and sent a 22-yarder off the Lady Hornets crossbar and into the net to make it 7-0 at the half.
The second half was shortened to 20 minutes due to the mercy rule. Cummings and Everett each added a goal before freshman Charlotte Abernathy scored her first varsity goal off an Oakley corner kick with 2 minutes left to end the match 10-0.
"Good win today," Singleton said. "We started off very sluggish but after about 15 minutes we picked it up. Our offense played very aggressively and once we got the first goal we were able to begin playing with some consistency. At halftime we talked about winning the possession battle and maintaining control of the pace of play and I feel like we did that."