Strong second half lifts LaGrange

Published 3:05 pm Sunday, March 12, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They pride themselves on being the superior team in the second half, and the LaGrange Lady Grangers were certainly that in Friday’s soccer showdown against Sandy Creek at Callaway Stadium.

After a scoreless first half, LaGrange notched four goals in the second half to roll to a 4-1 victory and improve to 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.

“We’re always a second-half team, and we came out in the second half and dominated,” said Hannah Asbell, a senior defender. “That’s what we do.”

Maggie Asbell had three of the goals for LaGrange, and she assisted on the other goal that was scored by freshman Caroline Thompson.

It didn’t take the Lady Grangers long to put the first goal of the game on the scoreboard.

Less than five minutes into the second half, it was Maddie Patton assisting on the first of Asbell’s three goals.

Maggie Asbell nearly made a 2-0 game moments later when she got a shot away in close, but Sandy Creek’s goal keeper managed to get a hand on the ball and keep it out of the net.

Sandy Creek then tied it on a break-away goal with 26:19 to play, and LaGrange was back to square one.

“You have so much time left, so I just told myself we’ve got to hunker down and push through this,” Hannah Asbell said. “There’s nothing you can do. You just keep going.”

Less than four minutes later, LaGrange reclaimed the lead.

Maggie Asbell delivered a corner kick, and with the ball bouncing around in the box, Thompson managed to get her body on it and she pushed it into the net for the goal.

With 22 minutes to play, LaGrange had the 2-1 lead.

“I just kind of threw my body at it, and it went in,” Thompson said. “Hannah told me to throw my body at it, and I told her I’d try. And it worked.”

The Lady Grangers kept pushing, and with a little more than eight minutes to play, Maggie Asbell was taken down in the box.

Asbell was awarded a penalty kick, and she drilled the ball past the goal keeper to give LaGrange a 3-1 lead.

With 1:49 to play, Asbell capped the scoring when she curled the ball into the net on a corner kick to clinch the victory.

“I knew we could beat that team,” Hannah Asbell said. “We wanted it so bad. We want to win region so bad, and that was one of the biggest games we’ve got to win.”

LaGrange will look to take another step toward a region title when it visits Cedartown on Tuesday.

OF NOTE: For photos from Friday’s game, check out