By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — Troy boys soccer coach Richard Phillips is a difficult man to impress.
Mainly because he knows what his Trojans are capable of — and what they will face later this year.
So even though, once it got going, Troy had little trouble in knocking off West Carrollton with an 8-0 rout, Phillips knows that things will only get tougher, and the Trojans will have to be even more crisp and on their game than they were Tuesday evening at Ferguson Field.
“The passing was acceptable. We can do a much better job of passing,” he said nonchalantly after the Trojans scored on crosses from both sides, on through balls and even on one 50-yard pass from the midfield sideline right to the goal’s doorstep. “We just didn’t do what we planned to do to keep possession.
“When you get time to pass, it should look that way. When you get pressure, that’s when it counts. How do we possess the ball when we’re under pressure? It worked for us tonight, but it will get tougher.”
And while the Trojans (2-2, 2-0 Miami Valley League Miami Division) didn’t face much pressure Tuesday, they’ve seen plenty early in the season on their three-game road trip. They began the season at powerhouse Carroll with a 5-2 loss, defeated division rival Greenville on the road 8-0 and then dropped a narrow 2-1 decision at Lima Shawnee last week leading into Tuesday’s home opener.
“(Lima Shawnee) was a good match for us. We got a little banged up, but it was a good match,” Phillips said. “It was a good learning experience for us, in that we need to be playing for 80 minutes instead of 40 minutes. That’s the main thing with us right now — keeping going until the final whistle goes.”
And while Tuesday’s matchup against West Carrollton (0-3, 0-2 MVL Valley Division) was technically the team’s home opener, it was still an odd one. The game was played at Ferguson Field due to the resurfacing of the track at the team’s normal home, Troy Memorial Stadium, and without lights at Ferguson Field, the start time was moved up almost two hours.
Troy didn’t let any of that affect the way it played, though. It put West Carrollton goalie Joel Apricio under fire from the start, firing off four dangerous shots in the game’s first four minutes and forcing Apricio to make a pair of diving saves to keep things even. But with 33:43 left in the first half, Reece Sherman sent in a diagonal cross to the far post that Sam Kazmaier redirected in to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
And at the 28:09 mark, Gavin Marshall — who finished with a hat trick on the night — scored an unassisted goal, intercepting a pass in the Pirates’ end and ripping in a shot from 25 yards out to make it a two-goal game. Marshall then set up the Trojans’ next score, sending a through ball up to Jon Hipolito, who beat the keeper one on one to give Troy a 3-0 lead with 23:14 on the clock.
“This was a good experience for us in that we need to come out early and execute what we need to do,” Phillips said.
That wasn’t the last display of execution, either.
Marshall sent a pass into the box to Elijah Williams, who settled the ball, made a move around a defender and beat the keeper for Troy’s fourth goal with 8:56 left until the break, then Ridwan Abdi crossed the ball to Marshall for a finish with :09 on the clock to make the score 5-0 at halftime.
With 24:19 left in the match, Sherman then sent a beautiful pass from the 50-yard line all the way into the box, where Marshall was waiting for a tap-in for his third goal of the night to give Troy a 6-0 lead — and from there turn on the running clock. Sherman then notched his third assist of the night, taking the ball up the right sideline and then crossing it to Mitch Davis to make it 7-0 with 18:10 remaining, then Ben Estrada cashed in a penalty kick with 2:19 left for the night’s final goal.
Troy only faced two shots on goal defensively, with both Skylar Reed and Sean Miller making a save to post the shutout.
The Trojans remain at home for two more games, hosting Tecumseh Thursday — with the site, Ferguson Field or Troy Memorial Stadium, still to be determined. Troy then hosts Xenia on Sept. 3 before heading back on the road for a pair of games.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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