JONESBORO, Ark. (9/17/17) – Behind a two-goal performance from freshman Sarah Sodoma, the Arkansas State women’s soccer team defeated Troy 4-1 Sunday afternoon at the A-State Soccer Park.
The Red Wolves (5-3-0, 1-1-0) never trailed in the game, but were pressured by the Trojans (3-6-2, 1-1-0) in the second half until Sodoma was able to score twice to put the match out of reach.
Troy closed the margin to 2-1 in the 71st minute on a goal by Kate Lorenz that was crossed to the near post and kicked backwards for a deflection off the post and into the goal. The Trojans continued to move bodies forward after the goal, which opened opportunities for A-State to attack on the counter and it paid off in the 85th minute when Sodoma took a pass from Hailey Furio and put it into the net on a first-touch kick.
The play was setup by Bailey Reed who intercepted a free kick into the Troy scoring area and found Furio in space, which allowed Sodoma to find angle to work in.
The Manchester, Mo., native scored again in the 88th minute when Julianna Coates sent a clearance out of her own box to the middle of the field and Sodoma tracked it down and out ran two defenders for her fifth goal of the season.
“Our counter really didn’t start working until the score was 2-1, but that had a lot to do with what they were doing,” A-State head coach Brian Dooley said. “They had to start bringing people forward at that point and that created space in the back and I think our kids found our runners about as effectively as they could.”
The Red Wolves struck in the 15th minute when Bailey Reed sent a long pass from behind midfield to freshman Maggie Ertl who was able to fight off a defender and then took a great angle on her kick to beat Mikki Lewis in goal for an early 1-0 lead.
A-State scored again in the 32nd minute when Reed and Olivia Smith worked together to get Furio a wide open look in front of the net for a 2-0 lead. Reed setup Furio by sending a pass to Smith just inside the scoring area and Smith sent it on to Furio who found herself unmarked in front of the goal.
“I think we certainly elevated our game after some of the adversity we faced Friday and we just decided that wasn’t something that we were going to let define us,” Dooley said. “I think the second goal we scored may have been one of the better goals that I have ever seen. We had beautiful moment all the way around and it happens because the kids are listening, watching film and the staff is preparing this team as if every game is the most important one and that’s the way it should be.”
Arkansas State’s four goals were the most it had scored in a Sun Belt Conference game since Oct. 20, 2012 when it scored five in a victory over Florida Atlantic.
The Red Wolves return to the field Friday, Sept. 22 for a home matchup with in-state foe Little Rock. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. from the A-State Soccer Park.