The LaGrange Academy Lady Warriors had no trouble with Valwood on Tuesday, rolling to an 11-0 victory in the opening round of the GISA Class AA state tournament.
The Lady Warriors (12-1) won the Region 4-AA championship to earn their state invitation, and with Tuesday’s win, they’re one of just eight teams left standing in the state.
LaGrange Academy will host defending state champion First Presbyterian next week, most likely on Tuesday.
Sydney Emerson continued her phenomonal freshman season with six goals, and she now has 55 goals for the season in just 13 games.
Sydney Allen and Brandi Smalls each added a pair of goals, and Caitlynn Croft had one goal.
Croft also had an impressive five assists, and Allen had two assists, while Emerson, Smalls and Leah Major had one assist apiece.
LaGrange Academy coach Mike Petite said Croft did an outstanding job of distributing the ball.
“When she got the ball, her passing was really sharp today,” Petite said. “She was hitting people on the move, in space. Once she got the ball, she was really good with moving the ball around.”
After charging to a quick 3-0 lead, Petite felt the team got a bit stagnant, but he said the second-half effort was tremendous.
“We played a little complacent, and we had a little discussion at halftime, and they played really well in the second half,” Petite said.
LaGrange Academy also had a dominant defensive effort, and when the occasional shot got through to the goal, goal keeper Mary Beth Cottle was on the spot with the save.
“That was a nice solid shutout for Mary Beth Cottle,” Petite said. “That’s a couple of back-to-back shutouts for her. She’s really come a long way from never playing soccer before to stepping into a difficult position in goal.”