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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Troy trampled in shutout

Dezmond Jackson

The ULM women’s soccer team shut out Troy with a score of 3-0, clinching the team a spot in the conference tournament.

The win also elevates ULM to 11 divisional points in the Western Division of the Sun Belt Conference, enough to be seeded No. 2 in the tournament. 

The Warhawks (9-2-5; 4-1-3 SBC) hosted the Trojans (5-9-2; 0-6-2 SBC) for their 19th meeting, avenging a 3-3 draw in the 2022 season and a 2-1 loss in overtime during the 2021 season.

A foul by Troy earned the Warhawks a free kick in the 11th minute of the game. ULM midfielder Mara Grutkamp shot the ball from outside the box and found the back of the net, giving the team an early lead.

The advantage gave the Warhawks confidence as they started pressing more on Troy to force mistakes. Under pressure, the Trojans lost possession, and ULM capitalized on Troy’s error.

 A long pass from defender Lucia Lobato gave the offense an opening through Troy’s defense. Forward Eve Blakey’s first touch of the game resulted in a goal from outside the box and gave ULM a 2-0 lead.

Lobato mentioned the team’s mindset about the game. 

“This game, we wanted to make things right. We decided to move the ball quicker and touch play. It worked out for us,” Lobato said.

Troy tried to break ULM’s momentum by playing a high backline, but the ULM forwards still controlled the pace of the match.

Lobato intercepted the ball from the Trojans, and the Warhawks advanced through Troy’s defenders.

 A cross from Grutkamp gave forward Emelie Kobler an easy tap-in to make the score 3-0 in the 29th minute.

The Warhawks dominated the first half of the game without mistakes and ruled the possession side of the ball.

Both teams made substitutions during the half to reduce the fatigue. ULM substituted Sara Navarro for Inge Konst and Santana Pressley for Grutkamp to have more control in the game.

Pressley found herself one-on-one against Troy’s goalie in the 73rd minute, shooting bottom center. Unfortunately for the Warhawks, the Trojans’ goalie denied it.

The Warhawks found themselves in the opponent’s box again in the 82nd minute. Grutkamp, looking for her second goal, shot from outside the box, but Troy’s goalie shut down another scoring opportunity for ULM.

The Warhawks’ streak of home match shutouts comes after having to rally and play from behind earlier in the schedule.

“We had increased the intensity in the training. The girls are challenging themselves,” head coach Will Roberts said. “We are out-possessing most of the games, but we want the girls to be killers in front of the box.”

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