High expectations for Lady Grangers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a winning start for the LaGrange Lady Grangers.
Facing Northside-Columbus in the season opener last week, LaGrange’s girls’ soccer team captured a hard-fought 3-2 win at Callaway Stadium.
Senior Sydney Ormsby, who has signed to play soccer at Columbus State University, had a pair of goals and an assist, and freshman Sam Cottle scored her first career goal in the season-opening win.
After failing to convert on offense in a loss to Whitewater in a preseason game, LaGrange coach Colin Ross was pleased with how things went against Northside.
“We were very disappointed with our scrimmage,” said Ross, who coaches the team along with Andy Fritchley. “We looked at our stats, and we gave the ball away half of the time. We’re not used to this new system, which makes sense. It was much better tonight. We’ve got a lot of people really stepping up.”
Ormsby, who has been scoring goals in bunches since she was a freshman, got her season started in style.
Ormsby had a goal in the first half off of a corner kick, and she also scored the go-ahead goal in the second half.
On LaGrange’s second goal, which came in the first half, Ormsby passed the ball to Cottle, who slammed the ball into the back of the net.
“That’s probably one of the prettiest goals you’ll see all season,” Ross said. “We’ve been working a lot on combination play. We did what we were looking to do.”
None of three goals came easily against a capable Northside goal-keeper.
“Their keeper was fantastic,” Ross said. “We had to score great goals to do it, so we were excited about that.”
LaGrange’s own goal keeper, Rachel Harry, made some big-time saves of her own, and she helped hold Northside scoreless in the second half.
While LaGrange’s veteran players were up to the challenge, some new-comers showed what they could do as well, including Cottle, as well as fellow freshman Carlee Roland, who was a place kicker on the football team last fall.
“Carlee stepped in to the scrimmage and played a few different spots, and then when we moved her to the middle of the field, she rocked it,” Ross said.
Ross also felt like sophomore Tatum Fritchley, as well as seniors Miller Williamson and Malone Aldridge, contributed greatly to the win.
“Tatum Fritchley played a great game. She played every minute and was really creative,” Ross said. And all credit to players like Miller and Malone, who are multi-sport athletes. They’re doing such a good job with it.”
Ross likes the makeup of this team, and he believes the future is bright for a program that is already ultra-successful.
“This team is going to establish what LaGrange soccer is going to be for the next four or five years,” Ross said. “We’ve got this incredible younger group, and we have this incredible senior group. We are looking to be one of the best teams in the state, and this is the team that is going to establish that.”