By Doug Gorman
I wouldn't consider myself an authority on the game of soccer, (After playing the game as a child, and writing about the sport for years, I still have trouble explaining the offsides rule) but I know one thing, the way the Eagle's Landing girls teams plays the game is pretty amazing.
The Lady Golden Eagles know only one way to play and that's full throttle.
Heading into tonight's Region 3-AAAA championship game, the Lady Golden Eagles are ranked seventh in the Class AAAA state poll and the owners off a 14-0-1 record.
Most Eagle's Landing games aren't even close. Through 15 games, the Lady Golden Eagles have outscored opponents 106-7 and have kept their opponents off the scoreboard nine times.
The Lady Golden Eagles haven't been scored on in their last four games, and in their first two region playoff wins, the squad has outscored opponents 20-0.
It doesn't take a soccer expert to come away impressed with the way Lady the Golden Eagles work the ball. They operate-like a well-oiled machine, passing the ball with precision, and working for the right opportunity to take a shot. One thing is for certain, the Lady Golden Eagles have been able to share the scoring wealth.
Just ask Warner Robins, who lost 8-0 to the Lady Golden Eagles on Tuesday night. In that game, Hayley Ferrell scored three goals, Taylor Lee, Lauren Harris and Kayleigh Haggerty a goal each and Hope Hanson added a pair of scores.
It's the style of play head coach Frank Perry loves about his team.
"It's good to be able to have so many people who can contribute," he said. "That way nobody is going to key on just one or two players.
Eagle's Landing is just as stout on defense. Very little is going to get past defensive specialist Leigh Jakes, but if it does, it's a good bet keeper Sarah Samchock is going to stop the shot.
Only time will tell how far Eagle's Landing will go in the state tournament, the competition is going to get better, but future state tournament opponents who expect the Lady Golden Eagles to be a push over might be in for a surprise.
Eagle's Landing isn't the only team seeking a region title in girls soccer. The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals are also in quest of a region crown tonight when they take the field at home against North Atlanta.
Like the Lady Eagles, Jonesboro can put goals on the scoreboard quickly. They also spread the scoring wealth as was the case in the Wednesday when Julie Fariss scored three times, Jess Harrelson and Katie Stuart two goals each. Amber Traber and and Chelsea Black also added goals in the team's 9-1 win against Columbus.
In Wednesday night's game, the Lady Cardinals ability to score quickly went on display in the second half when it scored three times in a span of about two minutes.
It's hard to tell how the state playoffs are going to unfold, but a match between Jonesboro and Eagle's Landing could be entertaining.
Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Daily. His column runs on Fridays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .