Lady Warriors riding high

By Kevin Eckleberry

April 16, 2014

It has been a special season already for the LaGrange Academy Lady Warriors, and they’re hoping the good times are just getting started.

The Lady Warriors clinched a region championship earlier this week, and with a road win over Arlington today, they’ll finish their GISA Region 4-AA schedule with a perfect record.

The Lady Warriors will host a state playoff game on Tuesday, and they’ll be one of 16 teams in the state chasing a championship.

The Lady Warriors have come a long way from the end of the 2013 season when they didn’t even have enough players to field a full team.

“Last year, they played their last game with nine on the field. We’ve got 13 playing this year, and we’ve got a bunch in the middle school,” LaGrange Academy coach Mike Petite said. “We had 16 play for the varsity boys in the spring, and they had a good season. It’s good to have a little comeback with soccer.”

On Wednesday, in its final home game of the regular season, LaGrange Academy overwhelmed Arlington 15-0.

It was 9-0 at the half, and LaGrange Academy added six more goals in the second half before the match was called because of the mercy rule.

Freshman Sydney Emerson continued her remarkable season with seven goals, which set a school record for goals in a game.

Emerson now has 45 goals in just 11 games, and she has also set the school record for goals in a season.

Caitlynn Croft added three goals, and Sydney Allen and Jo Wagner had two goals apiece.

Brandi Smalls also had a goal.

“We’ve got a young group, with Emerson kind of leading the way,” Petite said. “We’re excited about what we can do.”

LaGrange Academy’s primary competition in the region was Griffin Christian.

LaGrange Academy won both of the games, but they were both competitive.

The Lady Warriors also had one close game against Oak Mountain, although they won the rematch 9-0 on Tuesday.

If the Lady Warriors win today, “it’ll only be the second time we went undefeated in the region,” Petite said.

The coach said the last time that happened was in 1999.

Whatever happens in the state tournament, the future is bright for the Lady Warriors.

“These same people will be playing together next year,” said Emerson, who didn’t play her eighth-grade year. “We’re not losing anybody. That’s awesome.”

The Lady Warriors will be at home for at least the first two rounds of the state tournament, and a home game for the semifinals is a possibility as well.

The Lady Warriors head to state playing well, and Emerson said everyone is “definitely excited” about the chance to play at state.

“We have a lot of momentum going into it,” she said. “We’ve had such a successful season. We just want to go out and play, and have fun.”