East­side holds off Al­covy on late goal

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO Sports Ed­i­tor

Trent Tay­lor en­joys be­ing in the weight room so much he has worked his strength on the hang clean up to 290 pounds.

The ex­er­cise of lift­ing all that weight up to your chest while do­ing a lit­tle jump has lit­tle to no ef­fect on one’s soc­cer skills, but Fri­day night it cer­tainly trans­lated onto the pitch in East­side’s dra­matic 2-1 win over Al­covy.

Tay­lor, the East­side se­nior, was re­ceiv­ing balls from his teammates all match, strik­ing sev­eral on frame dur­ing the first half but none found their way past Al­covy keeper Stephen Ay­cox in the first 40 min­utes.

Through­out the 37 min­utes, Tay­lor con­tin­ued to work in Al­covy’s half of the pitch and fight off de­fend­ers to no avail. Then with a lit­tle over 2 min­utes left Jabari Ben­nett took the ball out of The Ea­gles third and passed it to the mid­dle to Ja­cob Al­wes. Al­wes then

put a per­fect pass just in front of Tay­lor sprint­ing to­ward the Tigers’ penalty box.

Tay­lor then treated an Al­covy de­fender like one of the bar­bells in his East­side weight lift­ing class, us­ing a lit­tle shrug sim­i­lar to the 290 pounds he moves to his will, and was open oneon-one with Ay­cox. Tay­lor shifted around the ju­nior keeper, who had a stel­lar ef­fort through­out the match, and put the game-win­ner in from about 8-yards out.

“The kid works hard in ev­ery­thing he does,” East­side coach Champ Young said. “It’s good to see him do that. He shrugged the kid off in the final sec­ond there.”

Tay­lor was one of sev­eral Ea­gles to put 15 shots on the Tigers’ goal through­out the match, and was the tar­get of most of East­side’s of­fense.

“They play a very di­rect game, where they want to get the ball to their player we fig­ured out that’s what they’re try­ing to do we just couldn’t stop it,” Al­covy coach Chris Edgar said. “He’s fast and he makes good timed runs, and my de­fense put them­selves in po­si­tion not to be able to de­fend against it.”

The Tigers’ de­fense didn’t re­ally have to be in much of a po­si­tion to de­fend against the Ea­gles’ at­tack thanks to Ay­cox’ per­for­mance in the net. The se­nior has been bat­tling Shawn Trow­bridge for the start­ing spot all sea­son, and earned it against Dutch­town. How­ever, he hurt his leg and told Edgar he couldn’t go against Union Grove.

How­ever, Ay­cox was ea­ger to play against East­side in his last match against the crosstown ri­vals. The se­nior came up with 11 saves, in­clud­ing sev­eral spec­tac­u­lar one-one-one div­ing stops.

“Steve was a se­nior in his last game against East­side and he wanted it bad,” Edgar said.

Af­ter play­ing to a 0-0 tie at half­time, Al­covy struck first on Rysan Richard­son’s break-away with 34:39 re­main­ing.

The Tigers then ap­peared they would hang on, un­til Al­wes re­ceived the ball al­most off­sides and faced Ay­cox alone. Al­wes won the one-oneone bat­tle bring­ing East­side back with a chance to im­prove to .500 for the first time this sea­son.

“I was ea­ger to see what we would do when we were tested a lit­tle bit,” Young said. “We didn’t play well tonight at all by any means. I was ex­cited that they came out and got the re­sult.”

The Ea­gles strayed away from their nor­mal ball-con­trol game and went to an air game that had Young frus­trated through­out.

“Was it pretty aes­thet­i­cally, not by any means,” Young said. “We played a lot more long ball than I’d like. We’re dan­ger­ous when we knock the ball out wide, ev­ery­thing tonight was lin­ear. It showed some char­ac­ter that we came back and won a good one when we didn’t play our best game.”

The Ea­gles, who have now won three straight will travel to Sandy Creek on Tues­day. Al­covy, which has lost three straight, hosts Wood­land on Tues­day.

Bryan Fazio/ The Cov­ing­ton News

Al­covy and East­side played to a 0-0 tie late in the game be­fore the Ea­gles scored a late goal to win 2-1 Fri­day at Sharp Sta­dium.

Bryan Fazio/ The Cov­ing­ton News

East­side struck late to steal a win from Al­covy Fri­day and have won their last three games.

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