COVINGTON -- Making a push toward the upcoming playoffs, the Eastside girls and boys soccer teams posted Area 8-AAA wins Friday evening over Franklin County.
Playing before a home crowd on senior night, the girls dominated in the opener 9-1, but the Eagle boys had a little more trouble in disposing of the visiting Lions 3-0.
Eastside 9, Franklin County 1
Sophomore midfielder Amber Lafond used her skillful left foot to score Eastside's first goal inside the first three minutes off a free kick and assist from dependable senior Ashton Ziadie. The goal began an impressive first-half run by Eastside as the Lady Eagles scored three more goals in the first half before Franklin County scored its lone goal of the game.
Scoring Eastside's second goal only a minute later was Emily House, again off an assist from Ziadie. Using a third consecutive assist from Ziadie, Sarah Gaddis scored Eastside's third goal with 27 minutes remaining before halftime.
After showing her skill with the assists, Ziadie got into the scoring mode with a goal to put Eastside up 4-0 with 21:30 still to play in the first half. Assisting her goal was Lafond.
"We were moving the ball well from the start," Eastside coach Joel Singleton said. "We worked on some plays in practice that paid off for us and that makes you feel good."
Franklin County stiffened its defense and scored its only goal with 13 minutes left in the first half when Tiphanie Grizzle launched a long kick that found its way through Eastside's defense and into the net.
The second half was all Eastside as Ziadie posted the next two goals to give the Lady Eagles a 6-1 lead. Her first goal of the second half was again set up by Lafond while the second one was an unassisted effort.
After another goal by Gaddis increased the Eastside lead to 7-1, Ziadie got her fourth goal of the game with 8:57 remaining.
The other two seniors for Eastside, Courtney Ellis and Brooke Tomlin, saw lots of playing time in the second half. Fittingly, Ellis, using a precise corner kick from sophomore Tara Harrison, scored the only goal of her career with 3:20 to play to account for the final margin of 9-1.
"It was great for Courtney to get her goal tonight," Singleton said. "And it was a special night for Brooke and Ashton as well."
Singleton also cited the continued improved play of freshman goalkeeper Carly Farrow as the Lady Eagles continue their push toward the playoffs. Eastside travels to Watkinsville on Monday for a crucial game with the area-leading Oconee County. That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Eagles are 5-2 in regional play and 10-4 overall.
Eastside 3, Franklin County 0
Senior Tyler Edmiston scored what proved to be an all-important goal off a penalty kick with 17:30 left in the first half to give Eastside a narrow lead which they protected throughout a hard-fought defensive struggle.
Franklin County came into the game with an unimpressive 2-17 record for the season but fresh off a confidence-building narrow loss to eurosportscoreboard.com Class AAA No. 2 ranked Oconee County. The Lions contested the ball all night and limited Eastside's shots on goal and scores. Playing a good game as goal keeper for Franklin County was Taylor Irwin.
Eastside got outstanding goal keeping play from senior Greg Morrell, who played with his usual efficiency and exuberance. And with 8:30 to play, Eastside coach Trent Weiser, in deference to Senior Night, allowed Morrell to grab a numbered jersey and play on the field.
The Eagles scored two more goals in the second half with Trent Taylor finding the net with just over a minute elapsed and Joe Gaddis adding one with 25 minutes to play.
In addition to Edmiston and Morrell, other seniors seeing action for Eastside were Joel Kernan, Lane Dobbs, Zack Gibbs and Patrick Ringle.
The victory elevates Eastside's season record to 8-4-2 and 6-1 in area play.