The No. 13 Texas A&M Aggie soccer team tallied a third-straight shutout in another home victory as they hosted the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ellis Field on Friday night.
After an evenly matched first half, the Aggies took advantage of the few chances created in the second half and were able to convert off a free kick for the only score of the game.
With very few scoring chances throughout the game for the Aggies, the match was ultimately won on the defensive side as freshman goalkeeper Shantel Hutton secured a fourth-consecutive clean sheet.
As the team has continued to roll through their home stand, Hutton said the defensive line – consisting of senior Briana Alston, junior Jordan Hill, senior Grace Piper, sophomore Karlina Sample and senior Callyn Walton – deserves a lot of credit, as well, for the success in their recent games.
"We've been working really hard for each other,” Hutton said. “I have never been on a team where defenders will throw their bodies at the ball to make the block, which has been a big help to me. That makes me want to go for every single ball."
Junior defender Jimena Lopez, the team’s current scoring leader, capitalized on an Ohio State foul during the second half for the 1-0 edge and her fourth goal of the season. Lopez stepped up to take the free kick from 19 yards out and landed the ball beyond the Ohio State goalie’s reach and into the upper right corner of the net.
Lopez said she has noticed the team’s consistent effort up to this point in the season, but that they have not reached their full potential yet.
"I've mostly been impressed with the resilience of this team because some games we have not had the possessions we needed or wanted to see, but in the end still have somehow pulled out these last few wins,” Lopez said. “We are always working to strive to be better."
A&M head coach G Guerrieri said the Buckeyes kept the pressure on through the full 90 minutes, which made them a real test for the Aggie defense and Hutton.
“Ohio State did a great job in really pushing us in the second half,” Guerrieri said. “We give Lori Walker-Hock and her staff a really good deal of credit because they gave us such a tight match. It just came down to, in the end, finishing.”
The Aggies will strive for a fourth-consecutive home win when the Brown University Bears visit Ellis Field at 6 p.m. on Sunday.