The Troy soccer team fell short Saturday in its first match of the year, losing to South Florida in an exhibition game in Tampa.
South Florida took a 2-0 lead after 39 minutes of play, but Troy was unable to generate enough opportunities to mount a comeback.
Twenty-one players saw action for Troy, including eight making their first appearances in cardinal and silver.
On the sidelines, the program saw two more important debuts in Head Coach Ged O’Connor and Associate Head Coach Joe Connon.
“Overall, it was a great team effort by a young team still getting to know one other and getting to know how we want them to play,” O’Connor said after the game. “There was a lot that we can take from this game and learn from moving forward.”
Of Troy’s four attempted shots, two were saved while one was blocked. Sophomore Sophie Wilson and junior Alison Watkins’ shots were saved by South Florida’s goalkeeping duo of Rikki Farquharson and Kat Elliot.
The Bulls got off 10 shots on the evening, two of which were saved by Troy’s red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Haleigh Mercer. Mercer was one of three goalies to appear in net for the Trojans, playing just under 30 minutes.
The first score from South Florida came in the 18th minute when Evelyne Veins took an assist from Yasmine Hall to go up by one. The Bulls scored once more 22 minutes later when Kylee Burroughs found Leah Ferlin to take a commanding lead before the break.
Troy is set to open its regular season Friday against the Mercer Bears. The Trojans look to kick off the season on a positive note as Troy hasn’t picked up a season opening win at home since 2012.
Troy will then proceed to make a two-game road trip, stopping at Gainesville to face seventh-ranked Florida. Conference play for the Trojans begins on Sept. 22 at the Troy Soccer Complex against the University of Louisiana-Monroe.