Granger soccer standout honored
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – It was one of the finest seasons in the history of the program, and Hannah Asbell had a lot to do with the success enjoyed by the LaGrange High girls’ soccer team.
Asbell’s good work didn’t go unnoticed.
Asbell, who was a defensive standout for a LaGrange team that won a region championship and reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament, was selected as the Class AAAA DiVarsity player of the year.
While Asbell scored a handful of goals during the season, her primary contribution came on the defensive end where she helped lock down opposing offenses.
In 19 games, LaGrange (14-4-1) only allowed 14 goals, and it had 11 shutouts.
In their last seven games, the Lady Grangers gave up one goal, and they shut out each of their three opponents in the state tournament.
In its final game, LaGrange fought Jefferson to a scoreless draw through regulation and two overtime periods.
Jefferson won on penalty picks to end LaGrange’s season in the elite eight of the state tournament.
After a 6-0 win over Cairo in the second round of the state tournament, LaGrange coach Colin Ross said “Hannah is easily the best defender in the state. With her, it comes down to that old cliché that defense wins championship. Maggie (Asbell) and Caroline (Thompson) are scoring goals, and that’s great, but (defense) is so important.”
Hannah Asbell was also one of four LaGrange players to earn spots on the all-Region 5-AAAA team.
Joining Hannah Asbell as a first-team player was Maggie Asbell, who had a sensational junior season and was the Lady Grangers’ leading scorer.
Maggie Asbell’s most memorable moment came in a key match against Chapel Hill when she scored on a free kick in overtime to lift her team to a 3-2 victory and a region championship.
Second-team all-region players for LaGrange were Vanessa Lopez and Thompson.
Lopez was a defensive standout, while Thompson was a prolific scorer.