Jacob Alwes had the ball down the right side, looking for a finishing chance in the middle.
Trent Taylor was there – twice.
After first struggling with his shooting around the goal, Taylor took over as Eastside eliminated Richmond Academy, 4-1, on Thursday night at Richmond Academy in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs.
“It felt amazing,” Taylor said. “It’s just a joy being out there on the field.”
Taylor scored four goals in the game – three in the last eight minutes – but Alwes’ deliveries were the difference as Eastside turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 lead.
The Musketeers, the No. 2 seed out of Region 3-AAA, led 1-0 even with Joseph Ardrey getting a red card after two yellows. Ardrey got the second yellow after he disagreed with a call and kicked a trash can on the sideline.
Richmond Academy (10-9) grabbed the edge on Telante Webber’s goal with 28:43 left.
However, Taylor tied it a little more than three minutes later.
Then, with the game seemingly destined to go to extra time, Taylor added three more goals.
His last came on a perfect chip as goalkeeper Daniel Howard came out to try and stop the chance.
In searching for the second goal, the Musketeers got a few chances but had some hopes dashed by offside calls.
“It just kind of got out of control,” Richmond Academy coach Steve Howard said. “I hate to end the season like this.”
The five-goal second half followed a stalemated first, when both keepers made tough stops.
Daniel Howard was particularly big, making two saves in quick succession in the opening minutes.
Though Taylor, Alwes and others cracked the Richmond Academy defense four times in the second half, the Musketeers are trying to think positively about what’s ahead.
“We’re looking forward to next year,” coach Howard said. “The future looks good for us.”