/Troy soccer dominates at home, wins three in a row

Troy soccer dominates at home, wins three in a row

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Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Trojan soccer team trounced three opponents in a row this weekend as Belmont, Jacksonville State and Alabama State all fell at the hands of the Trojan Classic hosts.

On Friday, Aug. 26, sophomore Brooke McKee of Madison was first on the score sheet as the Trojans (4-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) dominated the first half and took the lead in the 13th minute. The home side had to hold off a second-half onslaught from the visitors, who racked up six shots in the second half compared to both teams’ four in the first.

“Belmont is a team that brings a lot of energy, and they high-press,” head coach Jason Hamilton said after the game. “We wanted to come out, have a good first 10 minutes, and I think we definitely played well throughout. Maddie Brune was fantastic in the air, and our overall defensive work rate in the second half won us the game.”

Sophomore Allie Dingle sealed the victory for the Trojans as she claimed her first career goal in the 82nd minute.

Troy took the momentum into its next matchup against Jacksonville State.

In the 1-0 win, the Trojans took 12 shots total to Jacksonville State’s six, and JSU committed 10 fouls to the home side’s six. The Trojans took nine corner kicks, while the visitors managed only one. Freshman Kate Lorenz was the hero of the match, scoring a 72nd-minute goal to lift Troy past the competition.

“Sunday games are always difficult; we knew that coming in,” Hamilton said. “The way Jacksonville State plays, they are very physical and they are going to battle.

“I think our players that came in off the bench did a fantastic job for us. On the goal, there were three players involved that just subbed in. To have three freshmen come in and be impactful in the game is a sign of what we have for the future.”

Junior goalkeeper Mikki Lewis of St. John’s, Florida, set a record for most shutouts in Troy soccer history. Both teams’ goalkeepers were forced into three saves on the evening.

“It feels great,” Lewis said. “I never thought about records.

“I came to Troy and thought one day that I might make it onto the field, and that’s what I’ve been concentrating on. We are one of the best teams in the conference for overall defensive attitude. We have practice where we do nothing but step in front of balls. You don’t see that too much, and our team is completely dedicated to it.”

The Trojans saved their most dominant performance for the last of the three matches, thrashing Alabama State 4-1 in an offensive frenzy.

Troy fired 23 shots with 11 landing on target, while Alabama State could only muster three shots with two on target. The visitors did open the scoring in the sixth minute when redshirt junior Ariela Lewis slipped the ball past the Troy keeper.

Freshman defender Maddie Brune proved stalwart in defense over the past few games and tied the game with her 17th-minute header against the Hornets.

Sophomore Emily Stearns of Orlando, Florida, put the Trojans in the lead in the 19th minute, and the home side never looked back.

“We had some players really show us some things today,” Hamilton said. “We had some players that haven’t played that much really step up and show that they deserve to be on the field.”

Brooke McKee bagged her third goal of the season to put the Trojans up 3-1, and redshirt freshman Amber Harless of Alabaster netted her first career goal as a Trojan to put the match to bed in the 80th minute.

The Trojans will travel to UT Martin on Friday, Sept. 2, and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.