By London Bishop
XENIA — By the end of Thursday evening, spectators were well acquainted with the name of Xenia senior Lauren Nipper.
That’s because the Buccaneer goalie and her defenders had their hands full fighting the relentless onslaught of the Trojan offense.
Nipper made more than a dozen saves on the night, however, it wasn’t enough to dissuade the Troy girls soccer team from its aggressive play style. Though the Bucs managed to get on their feet later in the game, the Trojans left the Bucs and Doug Adams Stadium with a 3-1 defeat in Miami Valley League crossover play.
Troy started the game with several breakaways, most of which ended up in Nipper’s hands. On several occasions, she dove across the box to tip the ball away from the net. Towards the end of the first half, Xenia was finally able to put some pressure on the Troy side of the field, getting three shots on goal.
In the 10th minute of the second half, the Buccaneers scored off of a penalty kick to take the lead. Senior Alexis Claybaugh sent the ball at a slight curve over the Troy keeper’s hands.
Troy wasn’t done, however, tying the score in the 22nd minute with a header off of freshman Leah Harnish, slammed home by junior midfielder Chamber Browning.
Troy’s next goal was a breakaway by Julianna Williams. The Troy junior captain came barreling down the center as Nipper slid in to intercept, but the keeper wasn’t able to intercept as Williams shot the ball into the lower-left corner of the net to give Troy the lead.
And with 11 minutes remaining in the game, Chamber Browning was able to score another goal for Troy. The Bucs became visibly frustrated, a mindset that resulted in three yellow cards for Xenia.
Troy’s record currently stands at 4-0-1, 3-0 in the MVL Miami Division. Troy will face a tough test Saturday, though, traveling to Centerville. Xenia’s record now stands at 2-3, 1-2 in the MVL Valley Division, with its next home game to take place on Wednesday against Piqua.
London Bishop is a freelance sportswriter for Greene County News.