Eastside girls soccer is heading to a place they have never been before: the state semifinal. Heading into Tuesday, Eastside was 0-4 in the regional finals. It was a physical match, but that didn’t stop the Rams from cruising to a 3-0 win over River Ridge Tuesday night. The Eastside defense has been lights out this season and it has continued into the postseason.
Eastside head coach Sergio Quintana said post game his team didn’t get off to the start he wanted. The reason for the slow start was because the physical play on both sides.
The bumps and bruises slowed down both teams, but not long for Eastside. Sierra Millinor found the back of the net in the 17th minute to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
The Rams defense would take over from there. They would score two goals in the second half to ice the game.
Quintana said his team’s ability to respond to the physicality was key to the win.
He also said his team was ready for the physical play.
As the saying goes, “defense wins championships.” This might just be the case for Eastside. The Rams have only allowed one goal through three rounds this postseason and just four goals in the last sixteen matches.
The defensive effort was led by goalkeeper Rachel Zumberg.
Quintana didn’t know much about River Ridge. However, he did know what they were going to try to do on offense. The Royal Knights were going to come into Citizens Field to try and spread out the Rams and kill them with their speed.
Quintana knew the right game plan to counter River Ridge on the defensive side.
Next up for the regional champion Rams is a date with Gulf Breeze Friday night. Winner heads to the state championship round in DeLand Feb. 22. Gulf Breeze beat Ponte Vedra 3-1 Tuesday to win the regional championship. The Gulf Breeze Dolphins boast a 21-2-2 record, including a 9-0-1 road record.
The Dolphins and Rams will face-off Friday night at Citzens Field at 7 p.m.