Troy soccer cruises into conference play

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Trojan soccer team dominated both the stat sheets and the score lines this weekend, defeating Tennessee Tech 3-0 on Friday, Sept. 18, and Belmont by a slimmer margin of 2-1 on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Three Trojans found the back of the net en route to a road victory against Tennessee Tech (2-4-3, 0-0 Ohio Valley).  Senior defender Payton Donley of Woodstock, Georgia, scored her first goal of the season in the 43rd minute as Troy (7-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) gained the lead it maintained to the final whistle. The goal was assisted by sophomore forward Natalie Melilo.

Senior forward Chelsey Williams scored her fourth goal of the season and the Trojans’ second of the game in the 54th minute.

The 89th minute brought the final nail in the Golden Eagles’ coffin. Freshman forward Brooke McKee of Madison, Alabama, showed an eye for goal again this season, putting the ball past UTT freshman goalkeeper Kari Naerdemann.

“This was a good win for the team; we went out and executed our game plan. Playing on the road is always tough,” head coach Jason Hamilton said. “Tennessee Tech is a good team ,defensively only giving up six goals in their previous seven games. We’ve been asking our team to be more opportunistic all season and we definitely were today.”

The Trojans outshot the Golden Eagles 13-10; forced more saves, 4-5; and were more accurate with eight shots on target to Tennessee Tech’s 4.

The second game of the weekend, at Belmont, proved to be the taller task for the Trojans.

Statistically, the Trojans’ more dominant performance came in their second match of the weekend. Belmont was outshot 15-8 and forced into more saves, recording nine to the Trojans’ four.

Senior midfielder Alissa Jones made her third goal of the season to break the deadlock in the 40th minute.

Junior midfielder Meg Howard scored the lone goal for Belmont in the 79th minute. However, it was sophomore defender Haley Roberson, who scored her first goal of the season and sealed the Sunday match.

“We are extremely proud of the ladies in their effort today,” Hamilton said. “Anytime you can go on the road and win two games it is a very good effort from the team. Sunday games are extremely hard because you have been on the road for three or four days.”

Belmont brought in an amazing level of energy, but we were able to match that energy. Now we will turn our focus to beginning conference play.”

McKee continued her accurate form, with three of three shots on target, yet this yielded no goals.

Freshman goalkeeper Sydnay Tucker of Phoenix, Arizona, made her second start in a row for the Trojans. She denied the Bruins four times in an impressive outing.

The Trojans make their way back home to face the South Alabama Jaguars. The in-state rivalry reignites on Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.

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