COVINGTON, Ga. — The Eastside Eagles play host to the Heritage Patriots Tuesday night at Homer Sharp Stadium. And even though it’s a non-region matchup that really has no postseason implications, it definitely feels like something big is at stake.
Here’s the tale of the tape.
The Eagles (8-1-1, 4-0 in Region 4-AAAA) still sit atop the region standings and have moved up to No. 4 in Class AAAA as of Monday’s eurosportscoreboard.com state rankings.
The Patriots (8-3, 5-2 in Region 3-AAAAAA) will enter the match unranked.
On the girls side, the Lady Eagles (8-1-1, 3-1 in Region 4-AAAA) enter the match unranked but will be seeking to give head coach Joel Singleton his 90th career win at Eastside. To do it, Eastside will have to pull off arguably one of its biggest upsets in program history.
The Lady Patriots (9-2, 7-0 in 3-AAAAAA) enter the match ranked No. 7 in Class AAAAAA while riding an eight-game winning streak. It’ll be strength vs. strength as Heritage has only surrendered four goals during those last eight games. Meanwhile, Eastside’s scored 42 goals in the last five games.
The action kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with the girls match followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m.
Some may not want to talk about it. Some may not want to mention it. Some may not want to admit it. But some may want to use it for motivation.
The Eastside Eagles boys have met the Heritage Patriots on the soccer pitch 11 times. They first played in 2003, the last year Heritage won a state championship in soccer.
Eastside is 0-9-2 against Heritage in the all-time series. The Eagles have been outscored 48-9 by the Patriots.
The most goals Eastside has netted in one match was the 2006 meeting in which the two squads were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. As the teams were in the same region, they had to play overtime. Heritage went on to win 4-3 in OT. Both ties were 1-1 draws in 2010 and 2012. Eastside was shutout in five of the 11 games.
Things haven’t been better for the Lady Eagles over the years against their Rockdale County foe. Eastside’s girls squad has also met Heritage on the pitch 11 times, first meeting in 2003. The Lady Eagles are 0-11 all-time against Heritage and have been outscored 106-3 in those matches.
Eastside scored one goal each in the 2007, 2017 and 2018 games. The other eight matchups were all Patriot shutouts.
What does all this mean?
Simply that knocking off Heritage would be a huge win for either — or both — of the Eastside squads. On the other hand, no Heritage player wants to be apart of the first Patriot team to lose to the Eagles.
All four sides are good. Eastside fielding arguably their best girls and boys teams in school history. Heritage is ranked on the girls side while Eastside is ranked on the boys side. It may be either Eastside team’s best shot at swiping bragging rights from their Rockdale County rivals. The setup has “big game” written all over it, and the action promises to be intense.
No pressure, right?