Eastside managed to capitalize on one of its few opportunities, helping a former pupil draw even with his old coach.
The Eagles' boys' soccer team hosted Heritage Friday night at Sharp Stadium in a match that pitted former player against former coach.
Eastside coach Champ Young played his under-17 soccer for a 21-year old Brandon Stewart, who would go on to become the coach at Heritage.
"It's weird because I watched him for a minute and saw how much he's rubbed off on me, as far as mannerisms and the same style of play," Young said of Stewart.
Friday night was the first meeting between Young and Stewart's teams and it was a close one.
In the first half it seemed anything but as Heritage scored within the first 15 minutes.
The Patriots' leading scorer Mauricio Reyes had a one-on-one with Eastside keeper Andreas Sarmiento, and put it in the back left corner to give Heritage a 1-0 lead.
From there Sarmiento kept Eastside (8-4) in the match coming up with a dozen saves.
"Andreas played really well," Young said. "He wasn't supposed to start this year. He was supposed to earn the spot in case. But he's done very well and once he's had it he didn't want to give it up."
The Patriots had nine shots on goal in the first half alone, connecting on just the one.
"We had our chances, we just didn't finish," Stewart said. "The keeper played really well. The keeper kept them completely in the game."
Heritage (11-3-3) finished with 14 shots on goal, including a penalty kick chance in the first half that was blocked by Sarmiento.
Reyes was tackled in the box, and Gustavo Martinez stepped up to take the kick. However, his shot to the right corner was met by a diving Sarmiento.
"The game changes if we sink that P.K.," Stewart said. But we had our chances."
In the second half, the match was played a little closer but Eastside still didn't get many chances.
They weren't quite aware of what physical play was before playing this game," said Young of his team. "It's a great learning e
xperience for us going forward."
Of the three second-half chances the Eagles had the first was the one that went in.
Eastside captain Trent Taylor ran into the 18-yard box to receive a cross from the right side. The cross found his head, and Taylor knocked it in from about 15 yards out to even the match at 1-1.
The two teams couldn't find the net from that point on with Reyes getting a break-away chance with less than a minute to play. However the ball was taken away from him from behind about 10 yards out by a charging Eastside defender.
"He's a heck of a player and we kind of pushed him the way we wanted to him to go in the second half," Young said. It kind of took him out of the game."
The Eagles will host Luella Wednesday and play their final Region 4-AAA match at Jackson on April 24.