ATLANTA, Ga. — On a beautiful evening for soccer the Eastside Lady Eagles and the Druid Hills Lady Red Devils met on the pitch with playoff seedings in the balance Thursday evening at venerable Adams Stadium in Atlanta. And it was the Lady Eagles coming away with a 3-1 win.
The outcome remained in doubt until defender McKenna Walker sent a long ball from the back up to a streaking Everett who outraced two Druid Hills defenders to the ball and then slotted the ball past the Red Devils’ keeper with 3:39 left to provide the final margin.
Early on, it was a nip-and-tuck game, even after Eastside’s senior captain Madison Morvik gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 lead early, before Eastside freshman Aralyn Everett pushed the halftime lead to 2-0 when she scored at the 11:12 mark of the first half, thanks to an assist from Morvik.
The Lady Red Devils came out in the second stanza on fire, cutting the deficit to 2-1 with 30:02 remaining in the match. Then, less than three minutes later. Eastside goalkeeper Anna Shelton made a diving save on a Druid Hills free kick to preserve the Lady Eagles’ 2-1 lead.
The defensive play seemed to awaken Eastside’s offense.
With 18:20 left in the match Everett attempted a pass in to Morvik that a defender sent back at her. Everett got her head on the ball causing it to bounce hard off the ground in front of her and almost over the head of the Druid Hills keeper who managed to make a huge save.
Eastside coach Joel Singleton liked the grit from his squad, one week after the Lady Eagles secured their first state tournament berth since 2012.
"We had a battle (Thursday night) versus a great Druid Hills team,” Singleton said. “Our conditioning definitely helped us out as our pace of play was quick all day. Madison Morvik got us on the board early with a rocket shot from just outside the 18. This allowed us the opportunity to finish second and host a first-round playoff game in late April. We just need to finish strong vs North Clayton on April 10."
With the victory Eastside improves to 7-5-1 overall and 4-1 in region play, while Druid Hills drops to 7-5 (3-1 in 4-AAAA). Druid Hills plays Woodward Academy Friday April 13 at Adams Stadium in a Region 4-AAAA match.
Should Druid Hills prevail, Eastside, Woodward and Druid Hills could finish in a 3-way tie for first place in Region 4-AAAA.
Eastside boys fall short to Druid Hills
Coach Champ Young and his Eastside squad are undefeated no more in region play, after falling 4-1 at Druid Hills Thursday evening.
The loss dropped Eastside to 6-5-1 overall and 3-1 in Region 4-AAAA play, which pushed them out of first place, while Druid Hills (7-6-1, 4-0) solely occupies the top spot.
Eastside and Woodward Academy both have one region loss, but the Eagles hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. Already with a state tournament berth secured, the Eagles will look to finish strong after spring break with home matches against North Clayton and Social Circle and at Alcovy to finish the season.