Troy soccer heads home

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thanks to a 3-2 double overtime victory over Nicholls State this past Sunday, the Troy University women’s soccer team improved to 3-0.

All of the team’s games have been on the road so far this season, however that is about to change.

Today, Troy will play host to Lipscomb as the team prepares for back-to-back home games against the Bison, who are 1-1, and against the Alabama State Hornets, who are 0-2, on Sunday.

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“We are definitely excited about [the home game],” head coach Chris Bentley said during the teams practice on Wednesday.

“It will be nice to finally play at home in front of our fans.”

As for the team’s first home opponent, Bentley said his girls have to be prepared.

“[Lipscomb] has a lot of really good young talent on their team. It is going to be a pretty physical game.

“We have to be able to make adjustments as the game goes on and that is something I believe our girls are going to do,” the coach added.

Troy’s most recent win over Nicholls State, was the Trojans’ sixth in a row, dating back to last season.

One of the reasons why Bentley, a second year head coach at Troy, believes his team has been so successful thus far is because of the team’s chemistry.

“We got a good level of maturity mixed with youth,” Bentley said. “We have a tight-knit group here.”

“The girls have responded well to the training the coaches have thrown at them and have been resilient throughout the first couple of games.

Before the win over Nicholls State, the Trojans defeated Southeastern Louisiana 1-0 and Alabama A&M 4-1.

“We have a lot of character [on this team], and that is something that I believe has really been one of the team’s strengths,” Bentley said.

During the current winning streak, Troy has scored eight times on 37 shot attempts, while its opponents have only three goals on 24 shot attempts.

The Trojans have a plethora of players leading the way for them including freshman Niki Stamaris, junior Jill Pinder, senior Bridget Duke, sophomore Mary Morris and sophomore Ashley Branham.

Stamaris has assisted on five of the team’s eight goals, Pinder has scored three goals and Duke and Morris both have two goals this season.

Branham, the team’s goalkeeper, has played all 45 minutes this season and picked up her first shutout of the year against Southeastern Louisiana this past Friday.