LAGRANGE – Lakeland’s Keirstin Roose and Kylee Palmer each scored twice, and the Lakers defeated Angola in the opening round of Class 2A sectional play.
The Hornets fell to the Lakers, 5-1, Tuesday in large part due to an inability to stop the Lakers’ trio of Roose, Palmer and junior Hailey Alleshouse. The three players combined for 64 goals during the regular season and displayed that high-powered offensive ability again against the Hornets.
“They possess the midfield incredibly well,” Angola coach Rick Towers said about what makes the trio hard to defend. “From there, they play the long game exceptionally well with Roose, who passes it inside to Palmer like it’s nothing. You add Alleshouse to that and they’re just all over the field.”
Palmer scored twice, notching the game’s first score on a free kick, and again in the second half on a beautiful 20-yard shot. Roose added two more, including the final score of the first half on a rebounded shot in front of the net, while Alleshouse scored her goal with under three minutes remaining in the game.
It was exactly the type of performance Towers had hoped to contain.
The Angola coach said his game plan coming into the contest was similar to how the team approached its contest against Westview. Put simply, do your best to force a penalty kick session, where the scoring ability of each team is a bit more even.
“That was the blueprint,” Towers said. “That game against Westview was a very defensive game, and it was that way by design, because we knew we were outmatched a bit offensively.”
This, of course, is much easier said than done. Roose, Palmer and Alleshouse were the most potent trio in the Northeast Corner Conference all year, leading the top-ranked and most explosive team in the league.
“We tried to mark them, and man mark Roose, but it’s almost impossible to man mark Roose, she’s just too athletic,” Towers said.
The combination of all this led to a Hornet defense that played hard, but was often caught out of position, Towers said, leading to scoring opportunities for the Lakers.
Angola senior Emily McKinley scored the Hornets’ goal in the final game of her career.
“She was the generator for us all year,” Towers said. “She was asked to do a lot this year, and I’m proud of the way she performed and led this team.”