Soccer wins, draws first two SBC games

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Troy soccer team snapped its winless streak in a pair of weekend home games, defeating Appalachian State and playing a draw against Arkansas State.

After going four games without a win, the Trojans (5-4-2, 1-0-1 Sun Belt) returned to the Troy Soccer Complex and cruised to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Mountaineers (5-5, 0-2 Sun Belt).

Junior defender Haley Roberson assisted senior forward Abby Reynolds twice in that game as Reynolds opened the weekend with a brace, and sophomore Brooke McKee sealed the match with a header in the 66th minute.

“We started the game strong, but after about 10 minutes, we faded,” Head Coach Jason Hamilton said. “Appalachian State is a team that brings a lot of energy, and if you don’t match that energy, they are going to steal the game from you.

“I’m proud of how we battled throughout the entire game, and to come out with a first win in conference is fantastic.”

The visitors eclipsed the Trojans in shots 16 to 11, but Trojan goalkeeper Mikki Lewis saved a whopping nine shots to the visitors’ two. With her performance, Lewis earned her fifth shutout of the year.

Against Arkansas State on Sunday, Sept. 18, the Trojans peppered their opponents with 25 shots, but both sides settled for a goal apiece.

The Trojans took the lead when senior midfielder Nicole Harris netted her first career goal for the Trojans not even a minute into the second half. Harris chested down a Reynolds cross and put it neatly into the net to seize a precious lead in a close game.

The Red Wolves (2-3-3, 0-1-1 Sun Belt) responded in the 65th minute, when junior forward Jacqueline Greer capitalized on a failed clearance following a corner kick. The goal brought the score level, where it stayed for the remainder of regulation and two overtimes.

Offensively, Troy fired a season-high 25 shots, with 11 of them being on target. Defensively, the Trojans were staunch yet again—the visitors managed three shots, but only two were on target.

“We didn’t deserve to win that game whatsoever,” Hamilton said.  “I’m a little disappointed in our team.

“It’s a Sunday game, and if you don’t work hard and aren’t willing to work hard, then you can’t win. You’re at home in a conference game that you should win, and we’re just going through the motions. Just disappointed in that aspect of things. Hopefully they can figure it out sooner rather than later.”

Neither team shied from physical play, with both sides racking up 10 fouls each.

The Trojan offense forced 11 corners, but couldn’t craft any into goals. Troy allowed only one corner in the match, but it proved to be the only one Arkansas State needed to tie the game.

The Trojans will look to bounce back after a week of rest when they take on Sun Belt foe UL-Lafayette at home on Sunday, Sept. 25. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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