State success for LaGrange

Published 1:26 pm Friday, April 26, 2019


Daily New

On a misty night at Callaway Stadium, the LaGrange Lady Grangers survived.

Facing Stephens County in the opening round of the Class AAAA state soccer playoffs, LaGrange got two goals from Caroline Thompson on the way to a 2-1 victory.

LaGrange, which earned home-field advantage in the playoffs after winning the Region 5-AAAA championship, will be at Callaway Stadium on Wednesday for a second-round matchup.

It wasn’t a flawless performance by LaGrange, but it was a winning one, and that’s all that matters this time of year.

“The only thing you focus on this time of year is winning,” said Andy Fritchley, who coaches LaGrange alone with Colin Ross. “How are we going to win this match? I don’t care what the score is.”

The game was supposed to begin at 6:30 p.m., but after

the players were introduced, the teams were pulled from the field as a storm moved through.

About 30 minutes later the game began, and it took LaGrange less than 10 minutes to put the first goal on the scoreboard. Thompson got in close, and she snuck the ball past the goal keeper to give LaGrange the 1-0 lead.

That’s the way it remained until, with 8:06 left in the half, Stephens County came through with the equalizing goal.

With 32:19 left in the game, Thompson launched the ball from about 20 yards out, and it went over the goal keeper’s head for the goal.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities after that, but the scoring was done.

LaGrange’s defense, with Rachel Harry in goal, was up to the challenge.

Ross said LaGrange’s back line, led by sophomore Emma Matthews, stood tall.

“Our backline was really solid, which is what we know is going to happen,” Ross said.

As for Matthews, Ross said “she was pretty much our defensive player of the year last year, too, as a freshman.”

Ross said Stephens County, the number four team from Region 8-AAAA, did a nice job of muddling things up at midfield.

“It was just a stalemate in the middle of the field,” Ross said. “We just don’t like when teams put a lot of people right in the middle. They had a good team. They had good players.”

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CALLAWAY: In the first round of the Class AA playoffs, Callaway’s girls’ team lost to Oglethorpe County 7-2.

It was a 2-1 game at the half, and Oglethorpe County outscored Callaway 5-1 in the second half.

Marisa Acavedo and Keeley McGuffin scored Callaway’s goals.