( Photo / Troy Athletics )
The Troy Women’s Soccer Team looks to build on the 2019 season in the upcoming season.
Last season, the team recorded a program record 23 Sun Belt Conference points with 12 victories.
The team welcomes 13 newcomers this season, and with a changed Sun Belt conference structure, the Trojans are in great spot to eclipse last season’s second place finish to win the Sun Belt championship this year.
“The opportunity to see the incoming freshman play is always exciting for any coaching staff,” Head Coach Ged O’Connor said. “With such a large freshman class, it’s been a very exciting time.
“The players have come in and given maximum effort each and every day, and as a result, I have no issue with starting five or six freshmen in a given match.”
This year, due to COVID-19, the Sun Belt Conference has created an alternative to reduce travel. For the first time in conference history, the 11 members of the conference will split into two divisions (East, West),with the top four programs in each division advancing to the 2020 Sun Belt Championships (Nov. 2-8) in Foley, Alabama.
“The Sun Belt Conference did a phenomenal job of finding a way for us to have a season,” O’Connor said. “It’s going to be an exciting, but different, season now that the conference has been split into the two different divisions.
“We now get the opportunity to play conference opponents multiple times in a short period of time. The creation of the divisions will help create new rivalries inside the conference. With it being just a 10-game season, every single game is going to count. We’re just excited to be out there and to see how our young squad can adapt to the challenges they will face.”
The Trojans will play each of the teams in the Sun Belt East twice this season. The Sun Belt East will consist of Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Georgia Southern and South Alabama while the Sun Belt West will consist of Arkansas State, Little Rock, Louisiana, Texas State and ULM.
The Trojans will have a 10-game regular season, which will kick-off on Sept. 20 at South Alabama.
The Trojans will then finish their three-game road trip with Appalachian State on Sept. 25 and Coastal Carolina on Sept. 27.
Troy will be the host for a five-game homestand at Troy Soccer Complex against Georgia State on Oct.2, Georgia Southern on Oct. 4, South Alabama on Oct. 11, Appalachian State on Oct. 11 and finally Coastal Carolina on Oct. 18.
The Trojans finish their season on the road against Georgia State on Oct. 23 and Georgia Southern on Oct. 25 before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Nov. 4.
Last month, the Sun Belt Conference pre-season poll predicted Troy to finish second in the Sun Belt this season, but the Trojans are looking to win it all.