The Newton Lady Rams soccer team made a short trip to Sharp Field Saturday afternoon, defeating rival Eastside 2-1 in a streak-ending victory.
The win was the first for Newton over the Lady Eagles since an overtime shootout victory in 2007, when the Lady Rams edged Eastside 4-2 in penalty kicks after ending regulation tied 1-1.
Since then, the Lady Eagles had won the last nine matches over the past six seasons, outscoring Newton 65-2 during that run. But Newton coach David Alexander said his team made beating the Lady Eagles a priority this season.
“It was something we had talked about the other day, and beating them is something we really wanted to try and do,” Alexander said.
In a defensive-minded first half, the Lady Eagles struck first with 4:15 remaining in the first half, as Savannah Evans notched her first varsity goal off a corner kick from Morgan Green. Green’s kick cut through the Newton defense, and the Lady Rams were unable to clear it, leading to Evans’ score and the Lady Eagles 1-0 advantage.
In her first action in goal for the Lady Eagles, Alex Morvik picked up a trio of saves before Newton finally broke through Eastside’s defense, knotting the score at 1-1 just two minutes after Evans’ goal. A corner kick again led to a goal after Newton’s Lacey Brackett found Angie Dang for the score, tying the game heading into the half.
Newton and Eastside brought the same intensity to the second half, keeping each other off the scoreboard through much of the period. Still deadlocked at 1-1, Newton’s Precious Buddington took charge, pushing the ball deep into Eastside territory. The Lady Eagles’ defense took down Buddington, and the Lady Rams received a penalty kick for the foul, setting up a game-deciding goal with just 5:49 left in the contest.
With the rivalry win on the line, Brackett converted the penalty kick, hitting the right side post before the ball bounced across the Lady Eagles’ goal into the left side of the net.
“When the ball hit the post I was nervous, but when I saw it roll in, it was the best moment of my life,” Brackett said.
The Lady Rams’ held their lead, giving Newton the win to improve to 3-3 overall.
“This is an amazing victory for us and it really means a lot to beat a team that plays as well as they do,” Buddington said.
This loss dropped Eastside to 0-2 against its county rivals and marked the first time Eastside has lost to both Newton and Alcovy since 2007.
The Lady Rams return to action in region play Friday at home against Druid Hills, while Eastside hopes to rebound against Chestatee on Friday at 5:30 p.m.