MADISON, Ga. — There were two times in Tuesday’s match at Morgan County that the Eastside Lady Eagles were in desperate search for a goal. And both times, junior Sophia Leal delivered.
Leal’s two goals helped Eastside tie with the previously undefeated Lady Bulldogs 2-2.
The first instance occurred when Morgan County took a 1-0 advantage into halftime after converting its lone shot on goal of the match to that point. A Leal header into the goal early in the second half drew things back even.
Joanna Funes beat two Lady Bulldog defenders to cross the ball to Leal who did the rest.
That wouldn’t be the only time Leal would be seen with a huge smile in celebration with her teammates.
Morgan County’s Camp Stamps converted a free kick that she snuck over Eastside’s goalkeeper Alexa Corley’s hand under the top cross bar.
It seemed as if the Lady Bulldogs would remain unbeaten until a deja vu moment happened in the closing seconds of the match.
The Lady Bulldogs were called for a foul, which resulted in a 25-yard free kick opportunity for Eastside.
Leal took the free kick and, somewhat similar to Stamps’ free kick, snuck the shot into the goal past the goalkeeper. Once again, Leal and the rest of the Lady Eagles celebrated giving Morgan County its first blemish on its 2023 season.
Head coach Joel Singleton shared how his team dominated possession for the majority of the match.
“We had 60-70% of possession in the first half and 70-80% in the second half,” Singleton said. “Our defense played really well. The effort was there we just could not finish. Kat Wilbur and Sophia Leal were our catalysts tonight. It was not a win but it was not a loss."
Up to Tuesday, Morgan County had beaten their previous 12 opponents by a combined 90-3, including nine shutout victories.
Now, the Lady Eagles’ record goes to 3-6-3 overall along with a 1-2 Region 8-AAAAA record, which places them fifth in the standings.
Singleton has noticed the development of this year’s team.
"We have grown a lot. Due to injuries we have not had everybody and had to play in pieces,” Singleton said. “I told the girls making the playoffs is still there for us but we must win these next two region games against Winder and Heritage and if we beat Flowery Branch we can go in as a No. 3 seed. If we can keep everybody healthy maybe we can make a run."
The Lady Eagles have four games left to play. They next play at Winder Barrow this Friday at 5:30 pm. Next week they are scheduled to play Heritage Monday, at Social Circle Tuesday and at Flowery Branch Friday, March 31.
Sports Editor Phillip B. Hubbard contributed to this report.