Troy soccer splits a pair of road games

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

The Trojan soccer team found mixed results this past weekend, defeating Georgia Southern 1-0 on Friday, Oct. 16, and falling 2-1 at Georgia State on Sunday, Oct. 18.

The shutout against Georgia Southern (6-7-2, 3-2-1 Sun Belt) was the Trojans’ (12-4, 5-2 Sun Belt) seventh this season.  Both teams managed eight shots in the match, and though the Trojans made only two shots on target to the Eagles’ four, the visitors were able to come away with the victory.

The contest quickly proved to be a physical one. Twelve fouls were called against Troy to Georgia Southern’s eight.

“Tonight was a bit of a chess match,” said head coach Jason Hamilton. “Both teams were very organized and were ready to pounce if there was a mistake. I thought they were the better team in the first half and looked like they wanted the win more than we did.  Our work rate and energy was much better in the second half.”

The deadlock was broken in the 62nd minute when senior forward Chelsey Williams knocked senior midfielder Jasmine Fahrnbauer’s pass home, giving the Trojans the 1-0 lead.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mikki Lewis showed why she was chosen as last week’s Sun Belt Defensive Student Athlete of the Week. Lewis’ four saves were enough to hold off the Eagles, and, with the help of the Trojan backline, to record yet another shutout.

Troy’s second match of the weekend did not end as well as its previous match. The visitors struck first in the 15th minute, when Fahrnbauer once again provided an assist to junior forward Abby Reynolds. The go-ahead goal against the Panthers (9-4-3, 3-3-1 Sun Belt) was Fahrnbauer’s third assist of the season.

The home side tied the match with a goal off the foot of senior forward Ashley Nagy. The header goal in the 61st minute forced the match into overtime.

The Eagles found the back of the net again in the 107th minute, sealing the victory. Junior midfielder Suzanne Arafa provided the winning shot, delivering the defeat just barely into the second half of extra time.

“I’m disappointed with the performance today,” Hamilton said. “You can’t win games if you get outworked. Georgia State outworked us the entire game and deserved the win.

“We didn’t look like a team that has only given up nine goals before today. We were very exposed and could have given up quite a few more. That has to improve for us to have any hope in the tournament.”

Georgia State finished the match having outshot the Trojans 17-12. The Trojans forced the host’s keeper into making only three saves, while Lewis was forced to haul seven.

Troy will look to bounce back when Arkansas State visits the Troy Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23.

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