Troy loses in championship to South Alabama

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Troy soccer’s fairy tale season came to an end Sunday with a sudden, not-so-happy ending.

The Trojans, who had shutout their last six opponents going into Sunday’s conference championship game with in-state rival and No. 1 seed South Alabama, allowed their first goal in 562 minutes of play, falling 1-0 and putting an end to their best season in school history.

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In the game’s 22nd minute, South Alabama’s Nikki Shirtcliffe played a ball into the box that deflected off Jaguar forward Charde Hannaha and over Troy goalkeeper Mikki Lewis’ head and into the net for the game’s only and deciding goal.

“Be proud of what you’ve accomplished this season,” head coach Jason Hamilton told his team after the match. “You put Troy soccer on the map.”

The Trojans’ best chance at equalizing came minutes after the Jaguars’ goal when junior mid fielder Alissa Jones took a pass just outside the penalty box and fired a shot at the goal. But the ball drifted just to the left of the goal.

Troy’s memorable season saw 21 individual and team records fall.

Junior forward Chelsey Williams became the all-time leading scorer in program history, netting 25 goals.

Lewis, Jones, Jasmine Fahrnbauer and Mallary Hedden were all named to the All-Tournament team.

“We knew it was going to be a great game,” Hamilton said. “South is a great team. We’re two of the best defensive teams in the country. I expected it to be a one-goal game. The girls battled. We knew it was a conference championship game and two in-state teams. Those are all things that set up for a rivalry.”