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Eagles offense lights up Tigers
Eastside's Jabari Bennett fights off Alcovy's Jordan Adair for a header opportunity Tuesday night. - photo by Matt Smith

It was a banner night for the Eastside boys soccer team’s offense Tuesday night at Homer Sharp Stadium, as the Eagles lit up the Alcovy Tigers 7-0 in non-region action.

The Eagles netted three goals in the opening half before pouring on four goals in the second, topping their rivals with a relentless offensive attack that never slowed.

Tyrik Francis led the Eagles with three goals, completing his hat trick with fewer than 26 minutes left in the contest. Francis was one of five Eagles who found the back of the net in the win, and Eastside coach Chris Young said the Eagles, despite their standout performance, are still capable of more.

“We’re really close to getting where we want to be,” Young said. “We left a lot of goals out on the field tonight that we should have scored. Seven goals is a style number, but we could have had more.

“I did like that we were hungry when we were out on the field,” he said. “When kids came out, the next kid was still hungry to get out there and do something. Our effort was really great tonight, and I was happy to see that.”

Holding a 3-0 lead at halftime, Eastside maintained possession for much of the second half. The Eagles’ Mateus Holanda found the back of the net six minutes into the half, extending Eastside’s lead to four, scoring on a penalty kick after the Eagles’ Stephen Fisher was fouled inside of the penalty box. Holanda’s first kick sailed past the Tigers’ Paul Rothe, but was waved off after an Eagle moved into the field of play early. Holanda didn’t let the miscue bother him, stepping up for his second attempt and ricocheting the ball off the Tigers’ keeper for the score.

Dakota Arrington got into the scoring action five minutes later, scoring on a defensive clear from the Eagles’ Jerry Marban. Marban cleared a pass out of the backfield that hugged the right sideline, finding the head of Arrington. Arrington controlled the ball with one touch and fired a shot to the goal, pushing Eastside’s advantage to 5-0 with 29:37 left in the contest.

Francis’ big scoring night came to a close with 25:54 left in the game when the forward grabbed a loose ball at midfield. Francis blew by the Tigers’ defense and used a shot fake that fooled Rothe, tapping the ball into the right corner for the score.

The goal was Francis’ third of the night. He had scored the Eagles’ opening goal of the night on a header from Daniel Meija with 12 minutes gone in the first half and scored again 22 minutes later on a shot inside the penalty box that lifted over the Tigers’ keeper.

Zackary Chambers netted the Eagles' final goal of the night with 11:06 to go, scoring from 15 yards out after recovering a missed shot. Chambers struck first from right outside the penalty box, but the shot was blocked. Fortunately for Chambers, the ball went right back to his feet, setting him up for the second- chance opportunity.

Tyrell Francis netted Eastside’s third goal of the opening half just 75 seconds before halftime, coming up from his defensive position to score on a header on an Eastside corner kick.

Despite allowing seven goals, Rothe recorded 18 saves on 25 Eastside shots on goal. The Tigers’ offense finished with an official shot on goal.

“We have to get better,” Alcovy coach Chris Edgar said. “We have a lot of weaknesses, but a lot of it right now is in our head. We’ve allowed things to continue to happen game after game, when we’ve pinpointed them as areas that we need to work on. We have to start learning from our mistakes. Eastside is a good team, but we have to work on ourselves right now.”

Eastside returns to action Friday on the road at Sandy Creek.