Three local soccer teams bring home district title

Published 11:17 pm Saturday, November 7, 2009

It was a busy day for the Troy soccer program, as five tournament teams were in action today as part of district tournament play.

Of the five teams, three brought home the district title and one finished second in the district. The 11-U boys, 13-U boys and 9-U girls all brought home championships, while the 15-U boys finished second in their district.

The 11-U Boys team was able to win its district title after defeating Ozark and Eufaula in Eufaula.

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The first game of the day was against Ozark, in which the team from Troy started off hot. The Trojans got up 2-0 early on, but could not maintain that momentum.

“That first game, we charged out to that 2-0 lead and we looked like we were on fire there for about 10 minutes,” said head coach Ken LaBrant. “But, it looked like the guys kind of relaxed a little bit and Ozark was able to tie it going into the half.”

LaBrant and the rest of the coaching staff had to remind the team that a great start would not be good enough to win the game.

“We just tried to let them know at the half that the other team wanted it just as badly as we did, and that we had to play for the entire 60 minutes and play with intensity,” LaBrant said.

Fortunately for Troy, the halftime speech worked wonders, as the Trojans went on to win 4-3 over Ozark.

The Trojans then advanced to the district championship game, where they took on host Eufaula.

The intensity of the earlier game against Ozark appeared to work against Troy early on, as it fell behind 1-0.

“We started that final game off kind of sluggish, and Eufaula was able to score a quick one on us,” LaBrant said.

The sluggish start means it was time for more halftime inspiration.

“We had already played a tough game earlier and we looked a little tired,” LaBrant said. “But, both times, the guys really listened to what we had to say at halftime, and they were able to come out and finish strong.”

Troy did finish strong, scoring the second half’s only goal to win the district title 2-1.

“The guys are district champs, and nobody can really take that away from them,” LaBrant said. “We’re going to go to state and just take it one game a at time. We’re very proud of them for winning district, so anything past that is just icing on the cake.”

The 11-U boys were not the only championship Troy team in Eufaula, however.

The 9-U girls also won their district after defeating Andalusia 2-1 in a shootout.

“I thought our girls just did great,” said head coach Matt Leverette. “We controlled the ball real well, but we just couldn’t seem to get a goal.”

Abigail Salmon and Kaylin Gibson scored the two goals that proved to be the difference for a team that is seeking its second straight state title.

“We’ve got a lot to work on, but we’re glad to be able to win district,” Leverette said. “Last year, we didn’t have a district, so this is good experience for the girls before state. We won state last year, so hopefully we can repeat this year.”

The other teams in action Saturday were the 9-U boys in Dothan, and both the 13-U and 15-U boys in Eufaula.

The 15-U boys fell to Eufaula 1-0 to earn the runner-up spot in the district, but will still advance to the state tournament.

The 13-U boys won their district after defeating Fort Rucker in their first game of the day, and then defeating host Eufaula in the district championship game.

The 9-U boys team played in Dothan in a round-robin format, where they won their first game against Fort Rucker 6-0, but lost a shootout 2-1 against Dothan.

The performance was still good enough to earn the Trojans a spot in the championship game today at 5 p.m., which is currently ongoing.