Coming off a 5-0 Region 8-AAA win March 6, the East Jackson girls' soccer team returned home for the Battle of Commerce against Class A Public's No. 1-ranked Tigers.
After 80 minutes, East Jackson was the team celebrating the loudest as the Eagles ended the Tigers' perfect season with 3-1 win March 10 at home.
Jissel Garcia led East Jackson with two goals. Caitlyn Bousquet added the third goal.
"I couldn't be happier with the way we played," East Jackson head coach Cristina Carrigan said. "I think we communicated well on the field. I think we stuck together as a team. I just think we went 100 percent the whole game, that's all I ask of them, ever."
East Jackson stayed in attack mode for a majority of the game. Garcia broke through in the 16th minute, putting her first goal in from outside the 18. East Jackson led 1-0.
Carrigan called her team's attack "very important" in getting the win.
"We work a lot with moving the ball forward, keeping it forward," she said. "A lot of that has to do with our defensive line, too. We got the ball and sent it right back. We've been working on that all season."
Towards the end of the first half, it was Commerce who went on the attack, getting off three shots on goal but not having success in finding the net.
But an East Jackson penalty in the 39th minute gave the Tigers a penalty kick, which Chloe Diaz converted to set the score at 1-1. The score remained the same at the break.
In the second half, East Jackson went back on the attack and stayed on the attack. After having its first shot blocked in the second half, East Jackson converted the second when Bousquet took a pass and booted the ball home from beyond the 18 to put the Eagles back ahead 2-1 in the 49th minute.
Late in the match, the Eagles had six shots miss or get blocked, but Commerce couldn't take advantage of the misses. Instead, East Jackson made them pay in the 79th minute as Garcia booted through her second goal after taking a pass from Bousquet to put the game away.
The East Jackson girls now will wait and see if and when the season will return in 2020 from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
•EAST JACKSON 6, COMMERCE 0 (BOYS): The Eagles scored four minutes into the match and never looked back.
Owen Gates picked up a hat trick in the shutout win for East Jackson. Gates scored in the fourth, 38th and 79th minutes.
Renee Torres, Alexys Garica and Jesus Perez added the other three goals. All three goals came in the second half.
Up 2-0 in the second half, the lead moved to 3-0 when Torres took a pass from Gates and booted home the goal in the 48th minute.
Less than 30 seconds later, Perez took an attempt from straight on and found the net to push the lead to 4-0.
In the 63rd minute, Garcia slid in front of the goal and got the ball through to push the lead to 5-0.
Gates ended the scoring from in front of the net in the 79th minute to give the Eagles the 6-0 win.
“We felt like we woke up and played better as a team in the second half,” head coach Derek Davis said. “Our first half was flat.”
East Jackson’s match March 13 vs. East Hall was canceled due to concerns with the coronavirus, Davis said. He added he wasn’t able to address the team in person on Friday but contacted them via text to “stay ready to play” whenever the team is able to get back on the field together.
“It is killing me not to play as a coach, and I can’t imagine how hard it is on the players,” Davis said. “We have no frame of reference for something that like this, so we have to take it one day at a time.”