Soccer picks up pair of Sun Belt wins

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Trojan soccer team notched two more away victories over the weekend, beating both ULM and UL Lafayette by a score of 1-0.

The match against the University of Louisiana-Monroe (6-7, 0-3 Sun Belt) on Friday, Oct. 2, was the setting for the Trojans’ (9-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) first conference victory of the season. The visitors jumped out to a quick lead, and it proved to be all that they would need. They won 1-0.

In the third minute, senior midfielder Alissa Jones made a shot to the right of the keeper, and despite the early momentum, Jones and the Trojans were held scoreless for the remainder of the match.

Jones was the most proficient of the Trojans’ shooters. Of her six shots, five fell on target with one finding the back of the net. In total, the Trojans fired 14 shots to ULM’s 10.

“The team is not very happy with their performance,” said head coach Jason Hamilton. “We did not execute the game plan that we had set in place, and we made it tougher than it needed to be. A positive note is that we started the game strongly and thankfully got an early lead. We need to improve going forward to be more successful in the conference.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Mikki Lewis recorded her fourth shutout of the season with eight saves on the night.

The Trojans then traveled to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette. Freshman forward Brooke McKee made a critical assist to put the Trojans ahead.

Fellow freshman forward Robyn-Anne Whittaker collected McKee’s pass and slipped the ball past the keeper’s outstretched hands in the 65th minute, putting her team in front.

“We couldn’t be any more pleased with the game,” Hamilton said. “It was the best game this team has played in the past two years since I’ve gotten here. We completed 346 of 448 attempted passes, and when you play like that and are able to maintain possession in such a way, it makes the game easy. We will still take things away from this game to improve on, as UL Lafayette is a good opponent that made it very tough at the end.”

The Trojans outshot ULL (7-6-1, 1-3 Sun Belt) 16 to five. Ten of Troy’s shots came with its dominant first-half performance. Three of UL’s five shots came in a last eight-minute flurry.

In goal was Lewis, who recorded her second consecutive shutout and her fifth of the season. Lewis’ three saves of the match were enough to mark her 16th career shutout.

Troy will return home to host Texas State on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Troy Soccer Complex.

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