A&M boosted into first place, continues undefeated streak
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 01:10
Another weekend brought about another undefeated stand for the Texas A&M soccer team. Despite competing in turbulent weather and hostile environments, A&M pulled off a comeback 2-2 tie at Kentucky before shutting out Mississippi State 2-0, improving to the top record in the conference at 11-1-1 (5-0-1).
“It was good to get four points on the road in these weather conditions,” head coach G Guerrieri said. “We have five home games and two road games left in league play, so we’re in an enviable spot in the overall standings with a one-point lead.”
The Aggies, who boasted a No. 6 national ranking last week, outclass the rest of the SEC. As of today, only No. 11 Missouri and No. 24 Florida even hold a slot in the Top 25, leaving A&M in a league of their own.
Visiting Lexington on Friday afternoon, star A&M forward Kelley Monogue was able to erase second-half, single-digit deficits in the double-overtime draw: twice. The match snapped A&M’s nine game win streak in the squad’s first tie of the season.
Neither team was able to notch a goal in the first half, remaining at a deadlock till the 52nd minute when the Wildcats bypassed Aggie goalkeeper Jordan Day for the initial lead. Fourteen minutes later, however, Monogue answered with a deep 30-yard score.
With only 10 minutes remaining, Kentucky netted a second goal, which was once again matched by the sophomore forward minutes following. In the waning seconds of the match, the Aggies nearly pulled out a stunning victory as Shea Groom’s shot careened past the left post and harmlessly over the end line.
“It was a hard fought game and Kentucky came out and played well,” Guerrieri continued. “Kelley [Monogue] scored the equalizer, we came close to getting the game winner there in the last seconds. I think a tie was a fair result for the way the two teams played.”
Days later, A&M picked up the pace on a rain clogged evening in Starkville, downing the Bulldogs in a statement shutout. The Aggies were active early, notching both goals in the first 12 minutes of action.
Junior midfielder, Jayne Eadie, staked the initial lead with a score in the fifth minute while Shea Groom added an insurance goal seven minutes later. The Aggies dominated the remainder of the match, threatening on multiple occasions while squelching any Mississippi State attempts.
“We did a good job of getting the early lead and controlling the possession the rest of the game,” Guerrieri said. “We knew it would be hard for Mississippi State to muster an offense as it started raining harder. We didn’t want to make any mistakes they could take advantage of.”
Heading into the bulk of their schedule over the next seven games of the season, the Aggies look to retain their top seeding in their new league. With the possibility of going undefeated in conference play still on the table, expect this team to be focused down the final stretch.
This upcoming weekend, the A&M soccer team will compete against western division foe Alabama on Friday before going toe-to-toe with ranked opponent Florida late Sunday.