COVINGTON, Ga. — The sixth-ranked Eastside Lady Eagles (9-2-1, 4-1-0 Region 8-AAAAA) won a physical Region 8-AAAAA soccer match with the Apalachee Lady Cats (2-7-1, 1-3-0 8-AAAAA),5-0, on Friday night at Sharp Stadium.
Lady Cats goalkeeper Justana Smoot played a tremendous game, making numerous outstanding saves and punching or swatting away other shots with her hands throughout the match. Her play kept the game close.
Just two minutes after entering the match, Katie Oakley scored off a flighted ball into the scoring area from Lily Oftedal with 20:18 left in the first half. It was Oakley’s first appearance since the Woodward game, the fifth match of the season for Eastside, where she was injured in the first three minutes of play. Her goal gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 lead and would be the eventual game-winner.
Bailey Love sent a nice pass to Oakley down the left side and Oakley crossed the ball across the Apalachee goal mouth where Lizzie Teasley slammed it into the net from the right side to give Eastside a 2-0 advantage with 16:06 on the clock.
With 4:55 left in the first half, Love sent a corner kick in that Aralyn Everett and several Lady Cats battled over inside the six-yard box before Everett kicked the ball into the goal to give the Lady Eagles a 3-0 lead at the halftime break.
10 minutes into the second half, Love sent another corner kick in that Everett headed into the Lady Cats goal to push the lead to 4-0.
With 21:44 left in the game, Sophia Leal chipped a ball up to Lauren Davis who headed the ball down and into the Lady Cats net to complete the scoring and give Eastside the 5-0 win.
Lady Eagles goalkeeper Anna Shelton and the Eastside defense continued to shine as they have all season, by limiting opponents scoring opportunities and making the saves when they need to make them. The shutout was the Lady Eagles sixth in their 12 games.
Following the Lady Eagles’ match, the ninth-ranked Eastside Eagles (6-3-1, 2-2-0 8-AAAAA) returned to the pitch for the first time in two weeks against the Apalachee Wildcats (7-3-1, 4-1-0 8-AAAAA).
The Eagles scored twice in three minutes to take a 2-0 lead halfway through the first half on goals by Caden Coggins and Liam McGiboney. Apalachee battled back to tie the match 2-2 with two goals in the last eight minutes of the opening half.
Five minutes into the second stanza, Apalachee took the lead, 3-2. They would add another goal with 22 minutes left to stretch their lead to 4-2. The Eagles benefitted from a Wildcat own goal soon after to pull one back at 4-3.
With six minutes left to play the Wildcats made it 5-3. Coggins secured his brace with his second goal with only five minutes left to play to make the final Apalachee 5-4 over Eastside.
Next up for both Eastside teams are road games against Jackson County on Tuesday. The Jackson County girls will enter the matchup at 6-3-0 on the year and 3-1-0 in Region 8-AAAAA while their boys are 5-4-1 overall and 1-3-0 in Region 8-AAAAA.
Cale Coggins contributed to this report.