Texas A&M and the University of Texas will renew their rivalry with a first-round matchup in the NCAA Soccer Tournament on Friday.
Meetings between the two programs have been few and far between since A&M's move from the Big 12 to the SEC. It will be the pair’s first on the soccer pitch since 2011 and the first played in College Station since 2009.
Despite the inherent rivalry of the institutions, this matchup has not offered the same parity of competition on the soccer pitch as the football rivalry has. The No. 22 Aggies flaunt a 20-5-2 all-time record against the Longhorns.
Entering the national tournament, A&M and Texas find themselves in similar situations. However, both teams fared similarly in conference play, finishing the season in third place of their conferences with 7-2-1 and 6-3 records for A&M and Texas, respectively.
Both squads are coming off disappointing first round losses in their respective conference tournaments. The Longhorns fell in a penalty shootout to the TCU Horned Frogs, while A&M fell to Florida 2-1.
For the Longhorns, their biggest moment of the season came against then-No. 17 Kansas Jayhawks in which Texas pulled out a 1-0 upset on the road. However, Texas lost at home to both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, the two other ranked opponents they faced. Their impressive 5-2 record on the road has helped them overcome their underwhelming 6-5 home record, as they currently hold a 11-7-1 overall record.
As the Longhorns hit the road to face A&M at Ellis Field, their road prominence will have to overcome the Aggies' home dominance. A&M currently holds a 13-game win streak while playing at Ellis Field in the NCAA Tournament.
The Aggies will be making their 25th consecutive tournament appearance. They are one of only four teams (UNC, UVA and PSU), and A&M coach G Guerrieri is one of only two coaches (UNC’s Anson Dorrance), to make every single NCAA Tournament since 1995. Nevertheless, the Aggies are the only program of those four to never make it to the tournament finals, let alone win the tournament.
The Aggies’ quest for a long-eluded National Championship will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday as A&M takes on Texas.