Missing four starters, and playing six freshmen, the Eastside Eagles girls soccer team was at a disadvantage from the opening whistle Friday night against visiting Lumpkin County.
The Lady Indians took advantage of Eastside’s woes, scoring all their goals in the first half in a 4-0 victory in the Region 8-AAAA opener for the Lady Eagles.
The loss dropped Eastside to 1-4 on the season, 0-1 in the region, while Lumpkin County improved to 4-1-2 overall and 2-0 in region play.
Even though he was short four starters due to sickness or injury, Eastside coach Joel Singleton was not about to use that as an excuse for losing.
“We’re young - very young,” Singleton said. “We had four girls out today due to sickness or injury, so that hurts. In the first half, we basically scored three goals for them. We had a penalty in the box and we can’t let that happen. They are going to hit those (penalty kicks) nine out of 10 times, and they did. We had one person who thought someone else had the ball and nobody claimed it. But, you got to play – you got to play – you can’t make excuses.”
Lumpkin got on the board four minutes into the game as striker Celeste Norton drilled a shot past Eagles goalie Brook Arwood for a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Alexis Satterfield found the back of the net with 11:30 left in the first half, putting the Lady Indians up 2-0.
Lumpkin added to its lead after the Lady Eagles committed a penalty in the goalie box, which led to a successful penalty kick by Norton that put Lumpkin up 3-0.
Lumpkin’s Emily Dresmich scored the final goal of the period with 15.1 seconds to play. Worse, though, was that Lady Eagles’ goalie, Arwood, was injured on the play and had to be replaced by emergency goalie Alex Morvik to begin the second half.
Even though they were down 4-0, the Lady Eagles didn’t quit. Morvik was solid in goal – her first time in the net in a varsity game – and the Lady Eagles’ defense was much better in the midfield.
“We put Alex Morvik in goal, who is very athletic. She talks a lot and has a good knowledge of the game, which helped us,” Singleton said. “The only problem with that is when you put her in goal you lose her on the field from a scoring standpoint. My philosophy was to keep them from scoring – and we did. However, we have to find a goal scorer. We haven’t found that person, yet.
The Lady Eagles are back in action Tuesday at home against Walnut Grove at 5 p.m.