LaGrange bows out against Marist

Published 11:58 pm Thursday, May 2, 2019


Daily News

They had their chances.

The LaGrange Grangers came out firing in Thursday’s state-soccer showdown with Marist.

The Grangers had numerous scoring opportunities in the early going, but they were unable to connect.

Late in the opening half, Marist broke through for the game’s first goal, and it added two more goals in the second half to capture a 3-0 victory in the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.

While Marist advances to the state quarterfinals, an exceptional season came to close for LaGrange.

The Grangers claimed the Region 5-AAAA championship and won a game at state, and they finished with a 14-4-2 record.

“I think we had the best record in program history,” said Shane Pulliam, LaGrange’s second-year head coach. “We’ve been the highest-ranked in program history at number two. But you want one more. Every round just gets harder to get that one more.”

Things may have shaken out differently on Thursday if the Grangers had converted on one of their scoring chances, but they were unable to make it happen.

“We were all over them,” Pulliam said. “If we could have put one or two in, it would have been a different game. We just didn’t finish, and that momentum wore off. The second half, I think the tank was just empty. I think we had one shot in the second half and that’s not us.”

It was the final game for a group of seniors who meant a great deal to the success the team enjoyed this season.

“They stepped up and they did everything,” Pulliam said.

While the seniors will be tough to replace, LaGrange does have plenty of talented players returning, including junior John McDonald who led the team in scoring with 14 goals.

“We fought as hard as we could for as long as we could,” Pulliam said. “We just met a better team. They’re consistent. They play a tough schedule. We’re getting closer, and we’re going to use this as a springboard to work on next year.”