The Troy soccer program has enjoyed plenty of success this year. The Trojans already have as many wins as they had last season, and are showing no signs of stopping.
While the Trojans’ success so far this season is due to a team effort, one player stands out: junior midfielder Alissa Jones.
Jones has started to receive national attention as one of the best scorers in the nation. Despite not playing last year, Jones has made a name for herself on the field not only at Troy, but also in the conference and in Division I soccer.
Among Sun Belt players, Jones is ranked first in game-winning goals, points per game, total goals and goals per game. Nationally, she remains in the top 50 in women soccer players for all of these categories as well.
She has become the go-to goal scorer for the Trojans this season, and shows improvement every game. Jones likes to attribute her success to first-year head coach Jason Hamilton.
“I think the mentality that he tries to bring to practice is great,” Jones said. ”He believes in us. He tells us that the only way we’re going to lose is if we make a mistake, and that we can win every game.”
This mentality has shown on the field for the Trojans, as they made history this season with an eight-game win streak. During that streak, Jones scored all eight of her goals, and every game that Jones scored in resulted in a win for the Trojans.
Jones also plays for a semi-professional team, Oklahoma City FC, in the offseason. She likes to credit this time as her way of keeping in shape and staying at the top of her game.
“We had our own season and played 13 games over the summer,” Jones said. “We practice during the week and have two games on the weekend, so it was like I was in season all summer.”
Her experience and work in the offseason has shown this season, and what makes her success this year so special is that this is her first breakout year at Troy.
After missing last year, it was a welcome surprise to see how much Jones has improved.
After scoring only one goal in the 2012 season, Jones has scored eight goals so far. This has tied her for 14th in the nation in total points this season. She is also currently fourth in the nation in game-winning goals with a total of five.
Her play on the field is impressive enough for a season total, but the season is only barely halfway over and she is only getting better.