Perry hat-trick leads LaGrange to victory in season opener

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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It was Tuesday under the bright lights of Callaway Stadium, which meant soccer was back for LaGrange High. The Grangers got right to business, defeating Northside 5-1. 

This was the fifth straight season the Grangers have played Northside in their season opener or early in the season. The two prior matchups between the two teams were both one goal victories for the Patriots. This was the first win for the Grangers against Northside since a 3-2 victory in 2021.

Junior Karley Perry started off her season with a bang. The Georgia State commit scored a hat trick and contributed an assist. Her night was punctuated by her third and final goal as she threw herself with reckless abandon and latched onto a sumptuous cross from Carlee Roland on a corner.

The entire offense impressed as a free-flowing attack quickly had the Patriots looking for answers. By the end of the first half, LaGrange had already mounted a 4-1 lead. 

Senior captain Sam Cottle led from the front and finished her final first game of the season for the Grangers with two goals. Sophomore Reese Humphries played playmaker and contributed two assists while Demi Russell joined her in midfield and got an assist even though she spent much of the game breaking up Patriot attacks.

After letting loose in the first half, the Grangers controlled the second half in professional style, completely taking the sting out of the game with their ability to pass and move the ball.

The Grangers had their chance for even more goals — none more apparent than in the second half when a spending ball around the corner from Perry was perfectly weighted for Cottle, whose one-on-one shot against the opposing keeper trickled just wide as Cottle could not complete her hat trick.

The defensive side of the ball was equally as impressive considering the turnover on the back line. Sophomore Kelsey Burkes was one of the main reasons the defense was so rock solid. Junior goalkeeper Emma Maridik did her part as well, registering four saves.

All-in-all, it was an impressive display for coach Jon Callahan’s girls as they look to still get their legs underneath them early in the season.

The LaGrange girls soccer teams started the season 1-0 for the first time since the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. The Grangers will be back in action next Tuesday when they host St. Anne-Paceli.