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Eastside Eagles battle, but lose to Midtown 2-1 in the first round
Eastside Boys Soccer 2024
Eastside sophomore Hudson Harris (14) battles for the ball against a Midtown defender. - photo by Garrett Pitts

ATLANTA — The Eastside Eagles boys soccer season came to an end Wednesday after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Midtown Knights.

With scoring at a premium, it was the defensive play in the second half that stole the show for both squads.

In the opening eight minutes, both teams halted offensive pushes into the box as shots from both teams went awry or right into the keepers’ hands.

With 31 minutes left in the first half, the Knights broke through first.

Midtown’s Luka Stankovic moved the ball into the box and around an Eastside defender before depositing the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net to score.

The goal from Stakovic put Midtown ahead 1-0.

Two minutes later, the Knights mounted another attack. However, Eagles keeper Tucker Consuegra made the tough save to prevent the goal.

That save was the first of many for Consuegra on Wednesday. After the game, Eastside head coach Anthony Williams spoke about Conseugra’s game and what he has meant to the team as a whole in 2024.

“[Tucker has had] great performances all year. Vocal leader [and] he is only a sophomore,” Williams said. “The team is looking for him to do a lot of great things for the rest of his career.”

With Eastside’s momentum rising after Consuegra’s save, the Eagles got the ball into the box.

Eastside’s Alexis Vieyra moved the ball towards the keeper before the Midtown player made the mistake of fouling Vieyra. The foul resulted in a penalty kick for Vieyra with 27 minutes left in the half.

Vieyra slowly trotted to the ball before putting it in the bottom left corner of the goal off the hands of the reaching keeper. 

The penalty kick served as the equalizer to tie the game 1-1. 

After a pair of misses from the Knights shortly after, they put the go-ahead goal in the net with a shot from JP Steiding.

Steiding’s goal put the Knights ahead 2-1 with 24 minutes left in the first half.

The 2-1 lead for Midtown stood until the final whistle.

Though both teams had opportunities to score, neither team could get any success for the remaining 60 minutes of the game.

Eastside’s best chance at tying the game came in the final five minutes.

After a long struggle to get the ball into the box, Vieyra found Hudson Harris open for the shot.

The sophomore took the shot from the edge of the box, but the ball went inches over the crossbar to give possession back to the Knights.

The 2-1 defeat ended the Eagles eason with a 9-7-1 overall record. In Region 8-AAAAA play, Eastside went 3-3 and finished in fourth place.

The 2024 campaign will serve as the last for Williams as the Eagles head soccer coach. Williams told The News that he will go on to be the new defensive coordinator for the Flowery Branch Falcons football team.

In what was his last game coaching his team, Williams shared what we will remember the most.

“Just the camaraderie,” Williams said. “We are one big happy family, I don’t think we could have gotten any closer.”