LHS soccer teams open season
Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange Grangers and Northgate Vikings traded first-half goals on the way to a 1-1 tie on a pleasant Tuesday evening at Callaway Stadium.
Northgate scored first with 14:30 to play in the first half, and LaGrange answered less than three minutes later on a goal by Jimmy Cancino.
Both teams had their chances after that, but the defenses were up to the challenge.
It was the regular-season opener for LaGrange, which beat Whitewater 2-1 in a preseason game on Friday.
In both games, LaGrange fell behind 1-0 in the first half.
Against Whitewater, LaGrange rallied for two goals in the second half to secure the win.
In the Northgate game, LaGrange was down 1-0 after giving up a goal with 32:29 left in the first half.
It didn’t take the Grangers long to answer.
Cancino, a senior and one of the Grangers’ top returning players, banged the ball into the net from about 25 yards out for the tying goal.
The Grangers kept attacking, and they had numerous opportunities to notch the go-ahead goal, but they were unable to break through.
In the girls’ game, it was all Northgate, which captured an 8-0 victory.
Northgate scored less than 30 seconds into the game, and it led 3-0 at the half.
“We’ve played similar competition in the past, but we’ve got new people, and new tactics,” said LaGrange coach Colin Ross, who along with coach Andy Fritchley has led the team to back-to-back Region 5-AAAA championships. “To play a team like this early in the season, it was really hard for us.”
While there are plenty of returning players, the lineup has a new look to it.
Among the new starters is goal keeper Rachel Harry, and Ross figures the lineup will continue to see some changes throughout the pre-region portion of the schedule.
“We have so many people that can play different positions, it’s trying to figure out who fits the best where,” Ross said.