Cottle and Perry lead Grangers to big win over Columbus

Published 8:31 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

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A long time coming. 

LaGrange captured what coach Jon Callhan believes is the first victory over old region foes Columbus on Monday, outlasting the Blue Devils 2-1. 

The Grangers dropped the de facto region championship to Columbus in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss a season ago and on Monday they got a chance to flip the script.

“This was a big result,” Callahan said. “Sometimes the girls get down because of how hard our schedule is, and I thought we deserved more out of our last game (3-1 loss to Bremen). We have to keep believing we can win games like this.”

The dynamic attacking duo of Karley Perry and Sam Cottle proved the difference on the night. Cottle scored a first-half brace — both assisted by Perry — and that was enough to see the Grangers over the finish line, but not without some bumps along the way.

Goalkeeper Emma Maradik made a fine save on a penalty kick early in the match with the score still level at 0-0. From there, the Grangers were able to grab their two goals and take a lead into halftime. 

“I love that we took our chances when they came, but I didn’t love how complacent we were at the back from time-to-time,” Callahan said. “I’m super proud of their effort tonight.”

The Blue Devils scored on the other side of the break to make the game interesting. Both sides went at each other with the Grangers able to see the game out and earn a hard fought home win under the lights of Callaway Stadium.

Tatum Fritchley and Demi Russell played a large part in the Grangers’ victory by controlling the midfield, particularly Fritchley, who was not 100% healthy coming into the game.

LaGrange is now 3-6 on the season. The Grangers start region play on Thursday when they host Riverdale. 

“Building off tonight is going to be key with region play starting on Thursday,” Callahan said. “We have to build on it by making sure we are still hungry and ready for what lies ahead.”