Trojans fall to Georgia State in SBC championship semifinals

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Troy soccer team had its curtain call in the semifinal round of the Sun Belt Championship tournament, falling to Georgia State in a heartbreaking shootout that ended 4-2 on Friday, Nov. 6, at LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson, Georgia.

The traveling Trojans (14-4-2, 6-2-1 Sun Belt) took the lead in the 37th minute when junior forward Annabell Simpson buried a headed pass from senior midfielder Jasmine Fahrnbauer.

The Panthers (11-5-4, 4-4-1 Sun Belt) evened the tally in the 50th minute. Sophomore goalkeeper Mikki Lewis made the initial save, but the rebound from junior midfielder Suzanne Arafa found its mark.

The equalizer eventually sent the game into overtime, with neither team able to break the tie. Despite giving up the equalizer earlier, Lewis’ four saves kept the Trojans’ hopes alive.

The Trojans outshot their counterparts 16 to 13, with seven Trojan shots on target to Georgia State’s five. Senior midfielder Alissa Jones from Mustang, Oklahoma, fired four shots, the most of any Trojan that evening.

Following 120 minutes of play and no tie-breaking goal, the contest then went to penalty kicks.

Both teams netted their first two penalties of the shootout, but after that, Lady Luck seemed to be against the second-seeded Trojans.

The following two Trojan penalties were denied by the goal post, whereas Georgia State’s next two penalties found the back of the net, sealing the Panthers’ place in the conference championship final.

“That’s a tough way to end the season, and it’s a tough way to lose a game on penalties (shootouts),” said Jason Hamilton, second-year head coach. “But someone’s got to be a winner and move on. I thought we played good, and I thought we executed our game plan very well. That’s how it is with postseason: you have to leave everything on the line.”

This was the first match in Trojan history to go past overtime and into a shootout.

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