LaGrange fights hard in loss

Published 11:05 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Daily News

When a team has accomplished as much as the LaGrange Lady Grangers have, there are no moral victories.

LaGrange headed into Tuesday’s state showdown with Marist fully expecting to emerge victorious at the end of 80 minutes.

That didn’t happen, with Marist scoring a pair of goals late in the first half on the way to a 3-0 victory in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

Considering the strength of the team LaGrange was playing, though, no one was hanging their head after the final horn sounded.

Marist is not only the top-ranked team in Georgia, but it has moved up to the number one spot in the national rankings according to

Marist was held without a goal until it scored with four minutes remaining in the first half to go up 1-0, and it added another goal with just nine seconds left until the break.

Marist scored again 30 seconds into the second half, but it didn’t find the net again, while LaGrange had a handful of legitimate scoring opportunities.

After the game, LaGrange head coach Colin Ross expressed his appreciation for the players and his respect for how they competed against the nation’s top-ranked team.

“When it came down to it, it was shear heart, the fight to not give up,” Ross said.

Andy Fritchley, who coaches the team along with Ross, was also thrilled with how the girls performed on the turf at Callaway Stadium.

“I thought today was the best effort we put into a game,” Fritchley said. “They all knew how highly ranked they were, and they rose to the challenge. We could have easily come into this game and played timid. We didn’t.”

The game was decided during a five-minute stretch at the end of the first half and the start of the second half.

With less than five minutes left in the first half, the Lady Grangers had one of their best scoring opportunities of the game.

Caroline Thompson got in close on a break-away, but her shot attempt was stopped by the Marist goal keeper.

Marist then pushed the ball the other way, and 28 seconds after Thompson’s shot was stopped, Alexandra Adair scored to give the visiting team the lead.

It remained a one-goal game until, with nine seconds showing on the clock, Marist scored again to push its lead to 2-0.

“We feel like the second goal was a killer for us,” Fritchley said.

Coming out for the second half, LaGrange changed things up a bit from a strategic standpoint.

Ross figured if the Lady Grangers were going to go down, they were going to go down swinging.

“We went into the half, and we said all right, we’re going to go out there and go to our traditional four-three,” Ross said. “And if we scored the goals to win the game, that’s awesome. We were going to do everything we can. And we had better opportunities.”

The second half started in disappointing fashion for LaGrange with Marist getting the early goal.

From that point on, though, LaGrange settled down and stood toe-to-toe with Marist and had some opportunities to score and possibly get back into the game.

The closest LaGrange came to scoring was with six minutes left when freshman Sydney Ormsby’s shot sailed just over the net.

While Marist scored three goals, LaGrange senior goal keeper Maurie White was tremendous, coming up with a number of outstanding saves.

“She said yesterday she was ready to rise to the challenge,” Fritchley said. “She did.”

It was the final game for the team’s seniors, White, Lindsey Woodham, Eva Hutton, Maggie Asbell and Hayley Brazell.

Everyone else is coming back, including Ormsby and Thompson, who combined for 37 goals this season.