Aggie soccer crushes SEC weekend opponents
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 13:09
The Texas A&M women’s soccer team opened its 2013 SEC home campaign at Ellis Field over the weekend against a duo of SEC foes in Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M (7-3-1, 2-1-0 SEC) took the pitch Sunday afternoon against an underachieving Vanderbilt squad. The first half was played to a standstill until the junior Shea Groom broke the deadlock with a header coming off the sophomore Karlie Mueller assist, putting the Aggies up 1-0 with 29:35 remaining in the half. Groom’s goal increases her total to a team-best eight goals on the season.
As the game progressed, Mueller added another assist — crossing a ball from the right side of the pitch into the box — only to be flicked into the back of the net by junior Bianca Brinson, earning her first goal of the season, while putting the Aggies up 2-0 with just under 20 minutes remaining in the first half. Mueller’s two assists on the game moved her to five on the weekend and nine on the season, becoming the lead distributor for A&M.
“I think we started it in the spring," Mueller said. "We started a new formation and the outside backs — we call ourselves the wing backs — and I think every game we try and get forward on the attack. [With] me and [junior Leigh Edwards] coming in as attacking players playing defense, we love to get forward and get our name on the stats. Getting those balls in the box is creating so many chances for our forwards, and our forwards are getting on the end of it.”
Brinson’s speed has caused problems for opposing defenders all year, and her initial goal of the season came by way of beating defenders to the ball inside the box.
“I really just try and get my first-touch down,” Brinson said. “From there, if I have a good first-touch, I just use my speed to get around or I just look to combine with my teammates.”
Throughout the conference matchups, the team combined for 11 goals while goalkeeper Jordan Day held a clean sheet. The strong showings from the Aggies this week have solidified why they were picked to win the SEC West by the league head coaches this season.
“I think that last weekend a disappointing 1-0 loss on a penalty kick on the road, this is the kind of response you’d expect from a Texas A&M team,” said head coach G Guerrieri. “Eleven goals in two games to get two wins to put ourselves back into a good state of mind as we continue on our SEC road.”
The maroon and white etched their first SEC win of the 2013 season on Friday when Mississippi State visited. Following a loss at Tennessee last Sunday to open conference play, A&M looked to even its league record with its home league opener against a traditionally weak opponent on the pitch.
Against the Bulldogs, the Aggies started early and never looked back.
Allie Bailey scored the second fastest goal in A&M history just 28 seconds into the contest, trailing only Nicky Thrasher’s goal 11 seconds into a match against Oklahoma State in 2001.
The Aggie onslaught continued throughout the half, with the Aggies heading to the locker room with a 5-0 lead at half. The second half proved to be more of the same for the Aggies, as they added 3 goals to put the Bulldogs away 8-0 and improve to 1-1 in SEC play.
With the Aggies ending the weekend with a 2-0 record, they improve to 7-3-1 on the season posting a 2-1-0 record in the SEC.
Texas A&M heads to Auburn, Ala., on Friday where they will continue SEC play against the Auburn Tigers at 7 p.m. The trip will be the Aggies' first ever visit to Auburn as they look for revenge against the team that eliminated them from the 2012 SEC Tournament last season.