Making a run
A&M women's soccer team looks to LSU after winning weekend
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 02:09
One week after capturing the Texas A&M Invitational, the Aggie soccer team finished their non-conference slate with two shutout victories over No. 16 Long Beach State and Central Michigan.
Despite an early season upset loss to San Diego, A&M now boasts a five-game win streak — two of which came over ranked opponents — heading into their inaugural SEC schedule.
“I thought it was a good business-like weekend for us,” head coach G Guerrieri said. “We had two shut out wins, and those were two wins against teams that are going to win a lot more games this year.”
Texas A&M (6-1) faced off against Long Beach State Friday night, downing the 49ers 3-0. Sophomore forwards Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue, both of whom came off the bench, combined for each of the Aggies’ scores.
A&M was active early and often, netting a goal off Kunz in the 31st minute. Monogue echoed just before the half while Kunz tallied the final score with just minutes remaining in the matchup.
“It has its advantages,” Kunz said about coming off the bench. “I get a chance to see what the other team is doing defensively. I also get to come in with fresh legs.”
Two days following, the No. 14 Aggies played Central Michigan, defeating the Chippewas 2-0. Katie Perry and Chelsea Jones would garner the two scores in the A&M victory.
Perry, a sophomore, struck first, netting a goal in the fifth minute with Meghan Streight’s assist. More than 80 minutes later, Jones, a senior, helped the Aggies secure the win with a late insurance score, knocking home an easy shot from six yards out.
Through both games, A&M statistically dominated the pitch on offense. The team led both games in shots (38-19), shots on goal (18-7) and corner kicks (9-4).
Sophomore Jordan Day, A&M’s goalkeeper, recorded her third and fourth shutouts of the season during the weekend’s play. She extended her goalless streak to 336 minutes with seven saves.
For Day, the Aggies’ defense deserves a majority of the credit. As a team over the past five games at Ellis Field, A&M has been particularly smothering.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our defense,” Day said. “They block a lot of shots throughout all of our games. Not much is getting past them.”
The Aggies begin conference play next week at LSU, facing off against the Tigers in their first-ever SEC league matchup. Head coach Guerrieri understands the high level of play he will be facing in the athletically powerful conference despite his squad’s current success.
“There are a lot of teams in our league that have beaten really good teams,” Guerrieri said. “I’m excited. Just like this weekend, we’re going to play against really good teams that if we can get a good result, we’ll be rewarded for it in the eyes of the NCAA tournament committee.”
Having attended the past 17 NCAA tournaments, Texas A&M is still searching for the elusive national championship. According to Guerrieri, who has headed the program since its inception in 1993, the SEC provides the Aggies with a higher level of competition and, thus, more experience when competing on the national stage.
“We’re really thankful that we are going into the SEC compared to where we’ve been,” Guerrieri said. “There were a lot of teams [in the SEC] coming into today with an undefeated record. I really feel good about where we’re going right now.”