LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — The Eastside Lady Eagles improved to 3-0-0 by dominating the Luella Lady Lions, 10-2, on Tuesday evening at Luella High.
If not for eight defensive saves by Lady Lions keeper Sinclair Miller and two by the Luella goal crossbar, plus numerous deflections of Lady Eagle shots in the first half alone, the match could easily have been time-shortened due to the mercy rule.
In the 11th minute of play, freshman Sophia Leal sent in a corner kick that bounced off the pitch before freshman Mia Mostek headed it toward the Lady Lions' goal. A defender directly in front of the Luella goal used her hand to block the shot, resulting in a handball in the box being called. Mostek calmly converted the penalty kick to put Eastside up 1-0.
Within minutes, senior Lily Oftedal fired a long shot from the far right that hit off the Luella crossbar. Against the run of play, Luella's Kennedy Moore tied the match 1-1 on a breakaway with 25:13 on the clock. The goal was the first goal surrendered by the Lady Eagles stout defense this season.
Lady Eagle senior defender Lauren Gates broke up another Moore breakaway opportunity, sending the ball to Eastside senior keeper Anna Shelton, who launched it back to midfield with 18:25 left to play in the first half.
Sophia Leal bent another corner kick past three Luella defenders at the near post and into the Lady Lions' goal to make it 2-1 with 15:29 left.
Junior Katie Oakley sent a long through ball upfield to senior Aralyn Everett, who played it around Miller and put it in the back of the Luella net to stretch the Lady Eagles lead to 3-1 with 7:34 left to play. Everett returned the favor with 4:52 on the clock when she assisted Oakley on a goal to make it 4-1 at halftime.
The second half saw more of the same as Everett scored with 35:23 l3ft in the match off a short pass from Sophia Leal that made it 5-1. Junior Hannah Scharf stole a Luella throw-in and sent the ball forward to sophomore Lauren Davis, whose eventual shot bounced off the Lady Lion keeper before being rebounded and shot into the net by Everett off of Davis' leg making it 6-1. With 25:31 remaining, Mostek received a short pass from sophomore Karissa Aldridge and scored her second goal on a 30-yard bomb to put the Lady Eagles up 7-1.
Eastside keeper Shelton came off her line to stop a Lady Lion attack inside the scoring area with 22:24 to play. Just over a minute later, Everett completed her hat-trick when she scored off a short feed from Oakley to make it 8-1.
Luella's Kennedy Moore netted her second goal of the match at the 15:34 mark off a long air ball to make it 8-2.
Oakley recorded her second goal when Luella's keeper cleared a loose ball right into her path and she fired it into the goal to increase the Lady Eagles lead to 9-2 with 10:18 left on the clock.
On a night of standout plays, Gates ran down a Lady Lion ball at the Eastside 18 and dribbled it down the left sideline the length of the field and fired a shot that was stopped on an excellent save by keeper Miller with 8:16 left to play. Completing a true team victory for the Lady Eagles, Sophia Leal sent a corner kick in that Everett headed down to the foot of senior Gina Leal, Sophia's sister, who scored to make the final 10-2.
After the match. Lady Eagles Head Coach Joel Singleton said: "Another solid offensive performance. We started out very slow tonight on offense so it was good to see us snap out of it and begin to put points on the board. Our defense played another solid game. Luella has two quick strikers and they made the most of their one on one opportunities. We'll work on our communication with that and continue to do the little things to help us gel better as a team."
Individually, Singleton said: "Mia Mostek had a solid game along with Sophia Leal in the midfield. They're both freshmen but very capable of helping us in many ways this season. Aralyn and Katie continue to be a handful for opposing teams. I'm excited to see who else can step up and help us become more well rounded."
In the nightcap, the Eastside boys' soccer team came from behind twice to tie the match at the half. Trailing 1-0, Caden Coggins scored off a great assist from Hunter Kersh to make it 1-1. After Luella retook the lead on a free kick, Demba Fofana scored on a breakaway off a chip pass from Coggins to knot the game at 2-2.
Early in the second half the Eagles' Ethan Manley scored his first varsity goal off of an assist from Tanner Beam. Manley's goal would be the game-winner. Liam McGiboney made it 4-2 when he scored from 15 yards out with 13 minutes left in the game.
The Eagles improved to 3-0-0 with the win.
Both Eastside teams open Region 8-AAAAA play Thursday night when Greenbriar comes to Sharp Stadium. The Lady Eagles kickoff at 5:30 pm and the Eagles at 7:30 pm.