Aggie soccer rolling through SEC play
A&M looks for third-consecutive SEC victory
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
As Texas A&M entered Southeastern Conference play this fall in many of its premier athletic competitions, critics from around the country continued to rile up doubt about whether or not the Aggies belonged in their new home.
This past weekend, A&M’s soccer team worked to silence those cynics with two shutout victories at LSU and Ole Miss, improving to 8-1-0 while earning their seventh straight win of the season.
“It’s exactly the way we wanted to start,” said head coach G Guerrieri. “It wasn’t an easy accomplishment. We won two road games against two quality sides in two tough venues to earn wins in.”
The Aggies, who were upset early in the year at San Diego, Cali., set a school record as they registered their fifth consecutive shutout, an impressive feat considering they faced a ranked opponent in Long Beach State as well as their league openers on the road.
In A&M’s SEC debut at Baton Rouge, the defense quelled many of the Tigers’ attempts and hung on for a 1-0 victory. Rachel Lenz knocked the goal off Meghan Streight’s shot in the 13th minute, securing the win early for the Aggies.
Two days later, A&M faced off against Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., dominating the Rebels 4-0. Annie Kunz netted two scores while Allie Bailey and Shea Groom each added a goal.
Texas A&M was active early and often in the matchup as Kunz picked up a goal in the sixth minute. At the 30th minute, Groom connected as well, allowing the Aggies a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Kunz and Bailey added two more insurance goals in the second half, closing-out Ole Miss in commanding fashion. A usually potent and formerly undefeated Rebel offense, led by Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza, were smothered by the airtight Aggie defense, only shooting seven shots on goal throughout the game.
Statistically, A&M was in control the entire weekend. The Aggies led in shots (30-23) and corner kicks (16-8) while tying for shots on goal (10-10).
Additionally, Aggie goalkeeper Jordan Day tallied seven saves and extended her goalless streak to 516 minutes. If not for the squad’s deadly defense, however, Day wouldn’t have such an easy task.
In recognition of A&M’s defensive prowess, Rachel Lenz, a freshman, was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
“Rachel was outstanding,” Guerrieri said. “Not only did she score the only goal of the [LSU] match, but she came up with big defensive plays time after time.”
This upcoming weekend, the No. 10 ranked Aggies will host their initial SEC matchups against the University of South Carolina (3-4-2) and Auburn (4-5-0), hoping to continue their already impressive win streak.
Against two squads that currently stand under .500, this powerful A&M team should be prepped to emerge from the weekend with another duo of league victories.