FAIRBORN — Troy came into Tuesday night’s Aug. 29 game undefeated and played like it.
Fairborn played like a young team still trying to find its rhythm, in the Trojans’ 7-0 win at Fairborn High.
Troy (4-0, 2-0 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North) kept Fairborn (0-4, 0-2 GWOC American South) on its heels for most of the first half, to build a 3-0 lead. Fairborn assistant coach Scott Kurtz, filling in for Skyhawks head coach Greg Dierker who was away on business, said he could be blamed for the other three Troy scores.
“We’ve got a lot of young players. I think the speed of some of these teams we’ve faced has been a surprise to some of these boys, and now they’re trying to catch up,” Kurtz said. “I played some players out of position in the back side of this game. We became a little disorganized and probably gave up three more goals than we should have. I’ll take responsibility in that.”
It seemed that every time a Skyhawks player had the ball at midfield, there was a Troy defender there to stop their momentum, and then steal the ball.
According to Troy coach Richard Phillips, that was the plan.
“We won the ball in critical areas, and that’s the main thing we wanted. If you win the ball in critical areas, then you have an opportunity to do good things with it,” he said.
Troy’s Connor Hubbell launched a corner kick from the left side to junior midfielder Bailey Webb who kicked a worm burner into the Fairborn goal just over eight minutes into the match for a 1-0 Trojans lead.
Fairborn tried to capitalize on a Troy defender’s pushing foul barely yards away from the Troy goal at the 23-minute mark, but a Troy steal led to Hubbell scoring seconds later from the right side.
With 13 minutes left in the half, Hubbell once again made a midfield steal. This time, he pushed the ball upfield to Webb who made a nice crossing pass to Nathan Kleptz who quickly drilled a shot into the right side of the Skyhawk goal, for a 3-0 lead.
Hubbell scored again barely three minutes into the second half, giving Troy a 4-0 cushion.
Phillips said Hubbell serves as the team’s rudder. When he plays well, the whole Trojans team seems to pick up that intensity right along with him.
“That’s the engine of this team,” Phillips said. “He’s the one who I’m trying to get to guide the ship. He did a nice job for us this evening.”
Elijah Williams added Troy’s fifth score, eight minutes later in the second half.
With under four minutes to go, Troy’s Christian May got to a loose ball before the Fairborn goaltender, and kicked a shot over the goalie and into the Fairborn goal from the right side to make it 6-0 in the Trojans’ favor.
Just before the final buzzer, Webb scored again to get a hat trick.
“We got the result that we wanted, but we still have to work the younger players into our system,” Phillips said.
Fairborn’s Kurtz applauded the defensive effort of co-captain Rhees Adams, despite the score.
“He came out and tried to lead our team on defense and worked hard. He’s a big asset to our team,” Kurtz said.
Troy has yet to give up a goal this season. They’ve outscored Riverside Stebbins, Clayton Northmont, Lebanon and now Fairborn by a combined 15 goals to none.
The Trojans next play a 7 p.m. contest Tuesday, Sept. 5 on the road against another GWOC American South opponent, Trotwood-Madison.
Fairborn heads north for a Thursday, Aug. 31 contest at Tipp City Tippecanoe.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.