By Caleb Odom
The Troy soccer team (3-5) lost last Friday, Sept. 13, to Jacksonville State but won decisively on Sunday, Sept. 15, to Murray State with just two matches remaining until Sun Belt Conference play kicks off.
It was on Friday that the Trojans fell 1-0 to Jax State in a match that went to overtime.
“I think Friday we established a very good way of play, a good style of play against a quality opponent and we didn’t give them a lot of chances, a lot of looks at the goal at all,” Troy head coach Chris Bentley said.
Bentley said it just came down to the Trojans having some bad luck in the overtime.
The Murray State match on Sunday would prove a rebound game for Troy, who won 4-2.
“We found ourselves in good positions to win the ball back if we turned it over,” Bentley said. “We just capitalized on our chances. We scored four in that game off of good chances, and I think we could have scored more.”
Down one goal after one half of play, the Trojans tied the match 1-1 when freshman Necee Jennings scored in the 60th minute with Louise Cheng and Jane Latif on the assisting.
It was with the game tied at one that freshman Abby Reynolds found the net twice to put Troy well in control of the match 3-1.
Senior Maddie Tieken would answer Murray State’s second goal in the 83rd minute with a fourth goal for the Trojans in the 90th minute to close out the match positively.
Troy goalkeeper Caitlin Buono was solid in the crease holding Murray State to two goals and recording three saves in 90 minutes.
Bentley was pleased with how his team regained control of the ball when it turned it over.
“If I had to be honest, I would have to say that Murray State was a much better team than Jacksonville State is as well.”
Supporting the attack to Bentley leads into better support if the ball is turned over, which translates to more effective ball control and more chances to score.
“In previous times we’ve sent balls that might not have had good support to the attack so we turned the ball over and then they are coming back at us,” Bentley said.
Troy now shifts its focus to the match at home this Friday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. against Gardner-Webb (2-5-2).
“I think realistically, they are going to bring the ability to keep the ball,” Bentley said of Gardner-Webb. “I think they slow the play down a little bit so the rhythm of play will mean that we are going to have to kind of speed it up against them in a sense and play our style of play.”