Two Troy soccer teams invited to state tourney

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Drew Nelson jumps over a ball, while teammate Trey Holmes looks on. Both players are a part of the Troy 9-and-under soccer team that was invited to the state tournament. (Photo/Tyler Myers)


While none of the Troy All-Stars teams were able to capture the district crown, two teams were invited to the state tournament in Dothan.

The 9-and-under and 13-and-under team finished in the runner-up spot in the ARPA District Tournament, held at the Troy Sportsplex on Saturday, and received invitations to the state tournament in Dothan in two weeks.

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Teams from around southeast Alabama participated in the district tournament, including Troy, Fort Rucker, Ozark, Dothan, Eufaula and Andalusia.

The 11-and-under team fell in the first round of the tournament to Andalusia. The teams finished tied at one at the end of regulation, and went to penalty kicks to determine the winner. Andalusia won the match 1-0 on kicks.

Troy coach Fred Green said that with a little better luck, things could have wound up different.

“Sometimes it comes down like that,” said Green. “I think three of our kicks hit the post, but our kids played their hearts out. Just a couple kicks missed by inches, and I am really proud of them.”

The 9-and-under team surrendered only two goals all day, but both came in the championship game. In the first round Troy defeated Ozark 5-0 and knocked off Eufaula 9-0 in the second. The championship match came against Dothan was a tightly contested battle with the team from “The Circle City” taking the win 2-1.

Though the team wanted a win in the district tournament, Coach Doug McLendon said they will continue to work on things and be more prepared for the state tournament.

“We have the good fortune of the state deciding to take first and the runner up,” said McLendon. “We are going to work these next two weeks, so we can return the favor to them on their home field.”

The 13-and-under squad won the opening match of the day against Eufaula, 5-2. Coach Ken Labrant said that he thought the Eufaula squad would be the best team Troy saw all day.

In the second match of the day, Troy came from behind to best Fort Rucker 5-1. Cason Murphee led the Troy team in the match with two goals and Clay Labrant, Adam Bensinger and Dalton Earles added one apiece.

Troy couldn’t get their offense rolling in the championship match against Ozark and lost 4-2.

Ken Labrant said that the draw, requiring his team to play three matches, played a factor in the outcome.

“We had to play three, while they just played two,” said Labrant. “I think that took a toll, but we played very well all day and I’m proud of them for fighting back.”

The Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Tournament will be held in Dothan on Nov. 17-18.