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Troy 11U crushes competition

A dominant offense and effective defense spurred the Troy 11U tournament team to two shutouts in the first day of pool play at the Alabama Parks and Recreation state soccer tournament in Dothan.

Troy defeated Oxford 11-0 in the first game and Fort Payne 4-0 in the second. The team plays Prattville at noon today and, if it wins, should clench a spot in the championship game at 3 p.m.

“The team did a good job tonight, both offensively and defensively,” head coach Ken Labrant said. “We knew this would be a tough game.”

Fort Payne, a perennially challenging opponent, held Troy to a 1-0 lead in the first half.

“I saw your faces at half and you were disappointed that we had only one goal,” Labrant told his players after the game. “But you came out and played hard in the second half.

“And that’s what it takes to beat the top teams out here. You have to play tough for 60 minutes.”

Cole LaBrant scored the first goal early in the game. Early in the second half, Wright Graning scored the second goal, followed by Meredith Motes and Baylor Barnes.

“One of our sparks was when our only female, Meredith, went down there and shoved that goal into the net,” Labrant said. “She just made it happen.”

Motes was injured shortly after that play following a collision with a Fort Payne player, but she is expected to return for today’s games.

“We also had some key plays from folks like Reilly Fox, who was able to play defense and still drive the ball down the field,” Labrant said. “And we had a couple of good shots form Jason (Fleming) in the goal. He had a couple of slide tackles that saved us.”

Overall, Labrant said he was pleased with the team’s ability to communicate on the field.

“They’ve learned to call each other’s names well and they’re a lot better with touch-passing on the field,” he said. “They’re playing well together.”

That teamwork was evident in the first game, when Troy’s offense dominated against Oxford. Cole LaBrant, Fox, Connor Adler, Jaron Knox, Chase Hartley and Wright Graning all scored in the Oxford game.

“Oxford was a younger team, but they played well,” Labrant said.