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PREP SOCCER: Lady Eagles outlast rival Loganville in thriller
File | Mason Wittner | The Covington News

LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Two excellent Region 8-AAAAA soccer teams met on the pitch at Loganville’s Red Devil Stadium Friday evening.

The Eastside Lady Eagles and the Loganville Lady Red Devils played an end-to-end match that showcased two talented squads from the beginning. In the end, however, it was the girls in green and white who prevailed.

Eastside’s Bailey Love made a short pass to her right to Lily Oftedal on the sideline who passed the ball forward to Aralyn Everett. Everett proceeded to dribble thru no less than six Loganville defenders before shooting the ball past the Red Devils’ charging keeper to net the game’s first goal only two and one-half minutes into the match. 

Although the Lady Eagles took the early lead, Loganville kept pressure on Eastside the entire half. 

Lady Eagle goalkeeper Anna Shelton was outstanding in the first half, notching 11 saves, none bigger than two back-to-back saves on Lady Red Devil corner kicks with just under 17 minutes left in the half. 

The first corner was from the left side. Shelton blocked a hard shot from close range off her face that left her laying on the pitch. After recovering, Shelton got up and caught the followup corner kick in the air when it came in from the right side.   

With 14:13 remaining in the first half, the Lady Red Devils finally got one past Shelton. 

Shelton managed to get a hand on Elizabeth Barnhart’s shot but it careened up and into the Eastside goal to tie the game at 1-1. With 10:03 on the clock, a header off a Loganville corner kick glanced off the crossbar resulting in a goal kick for Eastside.

Loganville’s swarming defense broke up an Everett breakaway before she could get a shot off and later their keeper saved a shot by Everett on another breakaway with only 3:30 left in the half. The play of the Lady Red Devil defense made it where their keeper only had to make three saves in the first half.

Early in the second half it was the Lady Eagle defense that was swarming and limiting scoring opportunities. 

With 33 minutes left in the match, Eastside’s Kylie Greer sent a short pass to Karissa Aldridge who sent a long-flighted ball to Lizzie Teasley. Teasley’s shot was blocked down by the Loganville keeper, who managed to dive on the ball and control it before Lauren Davis could get a followup shot off from close range.

With 23:24 on the game clock, Love sent a corner kick in that Everett headed into the Loganville goal to put the Lady Eagles up, 2-1. 

But this match was in doubt right to the end. With 6:25 left to play, Loganville gained control of a loose ball  and fired a shot from near the 6-yard box. Shelton made a sliding save to reject the shot on what was the Lady Red Devil’s best chance of the 2nd half. 

The 2-1 win improved the Lady Eagles to 8-2-1 overall and 3-1-0 in Region 8-AAAAA. The loss was the third straight for the Lady Red Devils (4-5-0, 0-3-0) in Region 8-AAAAA. Their two previous defeats were to Clarke Central and to Walnut Grove, both in penalty kicks.  

Following the match Eastside coach Joel Singleton said: “I’m so proud of our team. We had several girls  playing hurt and were missing two due to sickness. We played hard, together, and really did some things well in regard to possession and ball movement when we needed to. Aralyn came up big for us and kept the pressure on LHS. We didn’t get many shot opportunities like we’re used to but we made the most of what we got.”

With only six regular season games left to play, the Lady Eagles are scheduled to travel to Morgan County Tuesday before returning home to Sharp Stadium for a region matchup against Apalachee next Friday.After a break in their schedule, the Eastside boys (6-2-1, 2-1-0) are scheduled to return to action next week.