CARROLLTON, Ga. — The Eastside Lady Eagles held the undefeated Northwest Whitfield Lady Bruins (5-0) in check for 70 minutes on Saturday before suffering a narrow loss on a beautiful afternoon at the West Georgia Invitational hosted by Central Carroll High School.
Mya Cummings gave Eastside a 1-0 lead with only 1:01 left in the first half off a throw-in from Aralyn Everett.
The second half became increasingly physical and took the Lady Eagles out of their normal rhythm of play. The 1-0 lead would hold until the final 10 minutes, when the Lady Bruins were awarded a penalty kick for a foul called on an Eastside defender in the scoring area. Northwest converted to knot the game at 1.
Later, Lady Eagle goalkeeper Anna Shelton came off her line to defend against a Northwest attack only to collide with a Lady Bruin while going for the ball. The ball went forward into the Eastside goal to put Northwest up 2-1. The referees allowed the goal and issued a yellow card to Shelton on what was to be the game-winning goal.
Eastside played the game without the services of Bailey Love, who was out sick. To make things worse for the Lady Eagles, Katie Oakley, Elizabeth Ozburn and Cummings were all injured during the physical second stanza. Oakley hurt her ankle, Cummings her toe and Ozburn was being evaluated for a possible concussion. Ozburn was injured with about three minutes left in the match.
"It was a tale of two halves today,” Eastside coach Joel Singleton said. "A great first half and a second half where we played less aggressive. Northwest did a good job of making the play very physical in the second half and it got us out of our first half flow and we never recovered. We couldn't get anything consistent going on offense. We lost three girls to injuries and that didn't help any either. It was a playoff-caliber game and that's always good for us moving forward. Hopefully we can learn from this and can make some corrections."
Eastside (4-3,1-1 4-AAAA) will host Luella (6-1-1, 2-0 4-AAAA) Tuesday at Homer Sharp Stadium in an important region match. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow.