LaGrange rolls in state opener
Published 11:35 am Friday, April 27, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a stress-free opener.
The LaGrange Lady Grangers overwhelmed Gilmer County 8-0 on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Class AAAA state soccer tournament.
Caroline Thompson and Lindsey Woodham led LaGrange with two goals apiece, and Eva Hutton and Sydney Ormsby, Malone Aldridge and Hannah Asbell each had one goal.
Thompson also had three assists, and Izzy Pippin and Abby Mazzolini had one goal apiece.
LaGrange will host either Marist or Jefferson in the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday.
LaGrange, which has won back-to-back region championships, has won at least one state-playoff game for the second straight year.
Last season, LaGrange reached the state quarterfinals before falling to Jefferson, and this team appears capable of making a deep run as well.
“We’ll have a game plan, and the girls will buy into it, and they’ll all understand their role,” said Andy Fritchley, who coaches the team along with Colin Ross. “The fact of the matter is, we all believe. We know (going far in the playoffs) is something that’s possible.”
Ross said every member of the team did something to help out during Thursday’s blowout win.
“The thing with our team, every person that we brought on contributed so much to the team,” Ross said. “The end of the game, we pulled most of our starters, and everybody that came on can play a certain style and can make things happen. So that was great.”
LaGrange led 4-0 at the half, and it added four more goals in the second half.
While the offense did its part, the defense was superb as well, and Ross said Devon Taylor and Emma Matthews led the way.
“Our offense is great, but our defense is so solid,” Ross said. “I’ve told Devin and Emma, they didn’t put a foot wrong today.”
Offensively, LaGrange had everything working, and Fritchley said that was a result of the players not trying to do too much.
“The weird part of this game is, when you’re looking for goals, you can’t find them,” Fritchley said. “It’s when you’re looking to make a play, looking to get space, looking to get passes, that’s when it comes to you. When we just play skill soccer, smart soccer, that’s when we’re scoring goals in bunches.”
OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports