Article published in The Forum Student Newspaper.
LITTLE ROCK – The LR Trojans are coming in with a grand slam this season. For the first time in program history, they defeated the Texas State Bobcats with a 2-0 home opener with goals from seniors Morgan Smocavich and Doro Greulich.
“Tonight to put such a consistent performance in over 90 minutes with our lack of fitness or much practice was pretty amazing. It has to be…one of the best victories since we’ve been with the coaching staff here,” Mark Foster, the head coach for the UA Little Rock soccer team, said.
The first half saw little action but the Trojans kept their pressure on the Bobcats with a few shots on goal by Mari Young and Smocavich.
The Trojans came in the second half with high energy and high hopes. With a foul at the 48th minute by the Bobcats right outside the box, Little Rock saw a great scoring opportunity. Smocavich made sure to keep the ball low and towards the right of the goalie. She led the beautifully curved kick right above the Bobcats heads to the right corner of the net.
At minute 61, Greulich ascended into the box for a penalty kick that would define the rest of the game. Positioned at the right corner, she tapped the ball right passed the Bobcat goalie’s fingertips to put Little Rock at a 2-0 lead. Greulich showed her strength after struggling with an injury for the past two years which caused her to sit out in the 2019 season.
The team was on fire. They were not going to let this lead slip away from them – battling off four more corner kicks from Bobcats. The 2018 and 2019 season ended up with ties against the Bobcats, so this put Little Rock at their first victory over Texas State since they started in the same conference in 2013.
The Little Rock defense was as much part of the victory as the offense. Their teamwork and persistence shined through with two shots blocked, a team save, and three outstanding saves from keeper Saskia Wagner. The team stayed united and determined throughout the game that resulted in a well-deserved win.
Now 1-0 in the Sun Belt Conference, the Trojans hope to keep the ball rolling and score another victory in Jonesboro against Arkansas State this coming Thursday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m.