A&M looks to extend streak against Arkansas
Lenz's return could spark defensive intensity, coach says
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 06:10
After a successful two-game road trip last weekend, the Texas A&M soccer team is back under the lights at Ellis Field Friday for another SEC matchup.
The Aggies (9-3-1, 4-1-0 SEC) — riding a four-game win streak — will host the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday in the 10th meeting between the two programs. The two clubs have played each other evenly with a 4-4-1 record. The most recent meeting last year in Fayetteville, Ark., ended in a 3-1 A&M win.
The Razorbacks (9-4-0, 2-3-0 SEC) will face an Aggie club that holds a 34-10 goal differential over opponents on the season, with a 16-2 mark in its last four games.
While the offense has outshot opponents 295-113, the Aggie defense has made notable contributions to the team’s victories. During the recent four-game win streak, the Aggies surrendered two goals to opponents despite senior defensive leader Rachel Lenz’s three-game absence due to a concussion.
“We are definitely looking forward to Arkansas,” Lenz said. “Especially because it’s our only game of the weekend and their RPI is higher than ours, so we’re definitely focusing on coming out strong on Friday.”
Despite dropping three of their first five conference games, the Razorbacks proved their competitive edge with the Sept. 27 defeat of the No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 in Lexington, Ky. Aggie head coach G Guerrieri said, despite their record, the Razorbacks are a tough team and the return of Lenz will help ease the pressure on the backline.
“A big part of who we are — and who we’ve been for the last three years — is finally getting Rachel Lenz back into the lineup,” Guerrieri said. “With [Lenz], our defense changes a little bit. The personality and the toughness of our team ratchets up a little bit and makes everybody a
The Aggies improved their SEC record to 4-1-0 over the weekend with two wins over Auburn and Missouri. Guerrieri said the successful weekend occurred with the efforts of multiple players — five of whom played the full 90 minutes in both matches.
Junior forward Allie Bailey netted a goal in both matches, moving her goal total to five on the season. However, rather than win streaks, goals and individual statistics, Bailey said she and the Aggies are focused on one thing —
“It feels good to get two wins over the weekend,” Bailey said. “Both goals helped us get two wins on the road, which is huge for us. We just have to keep it going through the rest of the season and the rest of the SEC. But we have another big game against Arkansas this Friday that is important to us.”