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Jumping into playoffs
Eastside travels to Richmond for first round on Thursday
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For the second straight year the Eastside boys' soccer team is headed to the Class AAA state playoffs.

The Eagles (10-6-2) finished 5-3 in Region 4-AAA, good enough to earn the third seed, putting them not only in the playoffs but also on the road.

Eastside travels to Richmond Academy on Thursday in the opening round.

The Musketeers (10-8) earned the second seed in Region 3-AAA, and have lost two straight and three of four.

In 2011, Eastside traveled to Mary Persons in the opening round, winning 2-1. The Eagles then lost 2-1 at Grovetown in the second round.

This year Eastside is once again looking to upset the home team, hoping it can take advantage of some of Richmond's lapses on defense.

The Musketeers have allowed 2.7 goals per game, almost a goal a game more than Eastside (1.8 goals allowed).

However, Richmond has scored more than Eastside making 64 goals, compared to the Eagles' 57.

Eastside won two straight, beating non-region opponents Rockdale 1-0 and Morgan County 6-2, before falling to Jackson 3-2 to end the season on April 24.

The Eagles third seed was not an obvious finish for them after the start of the season, in which they began 2-0-1.

The Eagles entered 2011 with several injuries, including one to their starting goalkeeper.

After the slow start, Eastside won four straight and seven of eight behind new goalkeeper Andres Sarmiento.

Veterans Trip Taylor and Jacob Alwes have helped provide first-year coach Champ Young with the leadership needed to overcome the slow start and reach the playoffs.