Eastside girls’ soccer earns No. 1 seed in district; Lady Rams host Buchholz on Saturday 1/14

IMG_8957By Jack DaSilva

On Thursday night, the Eastside Girl’s Soccer team joined The Prep Zone Show to discuss their season and how they’ve been able to maintain success on the field. With a 14-2 record, the Lady Rams have been great throughout the season including winning all of their district games (10-0).

After losing four seniors last year, the Eastside girls’ varsity team rebounded and they have worked together to fill the void. After starting the season by winning their first 14 games, Eastside lost its last two games back-to-back on January 10th and 11th to St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park) (18-0) and Santa Fe (Alachua) (15-4-1), respectively.

“I think they were good losses,” said head coach Sergio Quintana.  “You know when you’re 14-0 going into some games sometimes you get over-confident and you don’t take your opponent seriously.”

When reflecting on the last two games, Coach Quintana said, “Certainly we knew St. John’s Country Day was going to be a very big challenge. With Santa Fe, we had an issue with the referees so we ended up playing a friendly. We managed to handle them pretty easily; they were down a couple key players so I think we took them lightly coming in and I think it was a good lesson for the girls—that you need to take everyone seriously and bring their best game every time we step on the field.”

The Eastside Rams are a young team with the majority of the players being sophomores including sophomore Sierra Millinor, who is the team’s leading scorer with 26 goals on the season. When breaking down the team Coach Quintana pointed out his daughter, sophomore Isabella Quintana, as a vital part of the team and described her as a “creative midfielder” because she’s third in scoring on the team in goals (14) but first in assists (17).

IMG_8956Quintana, Millinor, Jovanna Liuzzo, and junior Ellie Miller-Jones (right) joined the show to break down the season and their success on and off the field.

When talking about her stat line, Isabella Quintana said, “I think everyone likes to score the goals but I do enjoy trying to create opportunities for my other teammates. Sierra is a really awesome forward and we work really well. I like to play through balls and she’s really fast and has a good shot so we work well together.”

Liuzzo, a sophomore defender, has been a key part of the Rams’ success.

“It’s really a matter of finding those long-balls up the field or if you want to take it and dribble up,” she said.  “I mean it’s all about opportunities and where your teammates are going and finding the open ball.”

Eastside girls soccer coach Sergio QuintanaEastside has had four different coaches over the past five years which can create an unsteady atmosphere for most teams but the Rams seem to have gotten past the constant change and have found a coach in Coach Quintana.

“I think Sergio has been a really good addition and he’s brought a lot of good assistant coaches with him,” said senior Ally Jacobs.

While the Rams have stumbled recently, they are certainly a team to be feared. The team’s chemistry is strong and the coaching has been superb.

Eastside hosts city rival Buchholz on Saturday before the 3A-District 5 quarterfinal on Tuesday against North Marion.