Troy junior Erin Wrubel scored a goal without even trying for one.
“I saw some space and saw my teammates running in,” Wrubel said, “so I wanted to get there—I was actually looking for the cross—so they could finish it.”
As it turned out, Wrubel scored one of three Troy goals in a 3-0 victory over Athens, its second of the season.
Troy senior Irene Young passed a ball down to the end line for Wrubel. Wrubel was almost out-of-bounds when her shot went towards the goal, stayed in bounds, and hooked inside the right post.
Wrubel and Young flipped roles on the first goal, when Wrubel sent a pass over to Young on the left side for a hard-hit shot from 20 yards out.
Young’s shot sailed over the goalie and just under the cross bar.
“[Wrubel] played a really good ball through, and so I had a lot of space in front of the defenders,” Young said. “So I took a touch, faked to the inside, and hit it with my left.”
“She does a good job of really seeing the space in behind the defender,” Zawislak added, “and she cut back into the space where she knew she could get a quick shot off. Usually when she gets a shot off, it’s just going to be a dangerous opportunity and it ended up in the back of the net.”
In parts of the game, Troy pushed Young back into the attacking midfield spot from her usual forward position.
One of the top players in Michigan, Young has faced pressure from opponents all year. Moving her into the midfield allows the senior to grab the ball facing the goal and play it up for speedsters Maddie Hirsch and Phylisha Drayton.
“That’s where the other people making runs off the ball really help,” Young said. “[There have] been a lot of people on my back, so they’ve been supporting underneath really well, and making good runs to the outside.”
“We tried to move around with her in different positions, and when we drop her back into the midfield, she has an opportunity to be a playmaker because she can see up the field,” Zawislak said. “She does a good job of playing good balls and making good decisions. That’s helped her in terms of finding that new niche.”
Both teams stayed off the scoreboard until three minutes remained in the second half. Troy junior Jamie Hawkey got into the midfield, drawing a defender out of place, and served it up to Drayton. Drayton drew another defender and flicked it over to Hirsch, who was wide-open for one quick touch and an easy finish past the goalie.
That took all the air out of Athens for the last three minutes as Troy whittled away the clock on its season sweep. The Colts topped Athens 2-0 on March 27.
“We take it really seriously,” Young said. “Every time we play Athens, we can’t lose. It’s not an option for us.”