Troy United’s trip to sunny Eastern Stadium in Lansing for a friendly match results in them leaving with a 4-0 loss at the hands of Lansing Common on Saturday evening.
Lansing Common started the pressure early and often after kickoff, and it took a stunning 3rd-minute block by defenseman Jalyn Beecham to stop an almost assured tap-in by the Robins.
“The biggest thing going through my mind was we were just at the beginning of the game and Lansing’s a well coached team and an experienced team and wanted to make sure we didn’t give up a goal to start,” Beecham said after the game.
Troy United turned up the intensity in the 12th and 13th minutes, as Lansing Common turned it over two times near the halfway line allowing Troy to counter-attack. Still, the two attempts went above the bar and just wide of the post, respectively.
Not even a minute later, Troy goalkeeper Thad Petty made a great save that bounced off his gloves, but the ball landed at Luke Kalavitz of Lansing’s feet with an open net in front of him, giving Lansing a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Lansing Common doubled its lead in the 26th minute with a header off Brandon Dixon that went into the top right corner of the next.
Troy’s next big opportunity was in the 41st minute after Lansing Common player Aidan Antcliff received a yellow card, giving Troy a free kick from about 30 yards out. The ball would end up in the back of the net off the free kick, but Troy was ruled offside in the lead-up, and the score stayed at 2-0 going into halftime.
Going into the half, Troy knew they needed to change some things around. Lansing Common had control basically since the opening whistle. Troy would have to be on the front foot in the second half if they want to stay in this game.
Coming out of the locker room in the second half, that’s precisely what Troy did. They looked re-energized and were playing good soccer to start the half. But a sloppy turnover at the halfway line led to a Lansing counterattack that ended with Fady Omar sliding it past the keeper, making it 3-0.
Troy still looked good after the third goal went in, as they had more opportunities to cut the deficit, but it seemed that any shot they took ended up in the Lansing Common goalkeeper's hands.
The 58th minute saw Lansing Common awarded a penalty for a foul in the box, and Lansing penalty taker Tony Burton slotted the ball right down the middle, increasing Lansing’s lead to 4.
Troy kept pressuring the Lansing back line, including a shot by midfielder Waleed Cherif in the 80th minute and an attempt by midfielder Dante Grasso 88th minute, but it just wasn’t enough as the final whistle blew with a final score of 4-0 to Lansing Common.
One of the big messages by head coach Kahner James in the locker room was that communication on the field still needs to be worked on going into the next game against United West in two weeks. Since the full squad has only practiced together a few times before today, it's to be expected that communication wouldn’t be at its full potential today but will get better as the season goes on.
“The second half was much better than the first half even though the final result doesn’t say so,” midfielder Brayden Stavros said after the game. “We’re still getting to learn each other's names, so things like practice and team bonding are going to be crucial for us moving forward.”
Troy United’s next game will be on the road against United West on May 27th at 4:30 pm at the Hudsonville Freshman Campus in Hudsonville, MI, before returning home to The Hawk on June 3rd at 2 pm against Detroit Union FC.