COVINGTON, Ga. -- The historic season for the Eastside Lady Eagles soccer team continues after a dominating first-round performance in the AAAA state playoffs against Shaw Thursday afternoon.
A four-goal performance from sophomore Aralyn Everett would have been enough, but the Lady Eagles showed no mercy as an entire unit, creating an 8-1 result against the Lady Raiders.
Head coach Joel Singleton immediately credited not only Everett but the entire front line for showcasing their athletic ability in the big win.
“She (Everett) was on today,” he said. “The first half was a little bit shaky as far as finishing. She probably could’ve had five or six in the first half, so it was nice to see her come out in the second half.
“We’ve got between (Everett), Katie Oakley, Bailey Love, that speed and the way we can play opens things up,” Singleton added. “When their touch is good, and when their communication is good, our team plays so much better.”
It was Love who opened up the scoring five minutes into the contest when her shot bounced off the fingertips of the Shaw goalkeeper and off the left post to sneak its way in.
After another goal in which Everett snuck past the keeper to send one in untouched, sophomore Dallas Stephenson squeezed one of her own in between two defenders to put the Lady Eagles up 3-0 with 11 minutes to go in the half. Everett recorded a brace just before halftime to send the Lady Eagles into the locker room up 4-0.
Coming into the second half, the Lady Raiders would finally get on board when an opening was uncharacteristically found in the Lady Eagles' defense that allowed for a goal from Shaw.
“Defense did a good job today,” Singleton said. “The one goal, that was not characteristic of them with the way it happened. They found a hole in the middle that is usually not there.”
It didn’t take long for the Lady Eagles to get one back, though, as Oakley found the net just beyond the goal keeper’s box. Everett would add two more goals to her tally, and senior Malaya Yamasaki would send the eighth goal in as the Lady Eagles advanced to the next round.
Singleton noted that the playoffs are going to get tougher each week and that the stakes will get higher.
As the Lady Eagles move on, they will play the winner of Richmond Academy and Perry in the next round. If its Richmond, the Eagles will go on the road.
“I like our chances against either team,” Singleton said. “I feel confident. When we play well and communicate, I feel like we’re really good.”
As far as getting prepared for either team, he noted that working on one significant aspect in the Lady Eagles game will further their season past the next round.
“For me, the biggest thing is communication and talking,” he said. “I talk about all the time, if we’re wearing green, its green to green, if we’re on the road, it's white to white. You take the game away from the other team and away from the officials and you possess the ball, so that’s what we’re going to continue working on.”