LaGrange overcame Averett and the elements for a 3-2 USA South win Sunday in Callaway Stadium. The game was played in rainy and windy conditions coming off Hurricane Nate.
The Panthers (3-6-2, 1-3-2 USA South) fell behind 1-0 to the Cougars (4-7-2, 3-4-1 USA South) with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. They tied the game with just 19 seconds left in the half.
The Panthers were outshot 18-6 in the game, but made the most of their opportunities. Sturm got the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute. He sent a volley from just outside the box over goalkeeper Marius Olavesen to put LC up 2-1. The goal was Sturm's 10th of the season. He is the first Panther to get at least 10 goals in a season since Cameron Williams in 2009.
LaGrange added to its lead less than seven minutes later. Diego Torres headed in Connor Liney's throw in for his first goal of the season and a 3-1 lead. The Cougars trimmed the deficit to 3-2 on Ville Hautakangas' goal in the 83rd minute.
Panther goalkeeper Cory Aycock made two saves in the final minute to preserve the win. Aycock had nine saves in the game, seven coming in the second half.
The Panthers host Brevard and Berea next Friday and Saturday.