Aggies play LSU for SEC title
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 23:10
After suffering a loss against the Florida Gators in Gainesville, Fla. on Sunday and missing an opportunity to clinch the SEC regular season title, the Texas A&M soccer team returns to Ellis Field Thursday at 7 p.m. to take on the LSU Tigers (9-7-2, 5-4-1 SEC).
“It was a tough loss for us,” junior forward Bianca Brinson said. “We really wanted to win against Florida, but you win some and you lose some. We’re just going to take that loss as a lesson and just build from that and hopefully we can capitalize from that loss on Thursday against LSU.”
Despite Sunday’s 2-0 loss, the Aggies (13-4-1, 9-2-1 SEC) will take the pitch with the ability to control their own destiny.
With a win against the Tigers on Thursday, the Aggies are guaranteed a share of the SEC regular season crown. With an Aggie victory and a Florida loss or tie against Georgia, the Aggies would win the SEC title outright. However, if Florida and the Aggies are both victorious in their Thursday matchups, the two teams would be co-champions of the SEC. An Aggie loss coupled with a Florida victory would clinch the SEC title for the Gators.
Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri said the opportunity to play the important match in front of the 12th Man is an exciting opportunity for a club that boasts a 197-29-6 all-time record at home, including a 9-2-1 mark this season.
LSU comes to Ellis riding a four game losing streak – all of which were conference opponents after a seven game win streak midway through the season this year. Of those four losses, three of them came to ranked opponents with a combined record of 40-11-4.
“They’ll be focused,” Guerrieri said. “I’m sure that their backs are against the wall a little bit. They’re going to make the SEC Tournament, but I know that they have high aspirations and they will come in and give us their best game.”
This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs, a series the Aggies lead 2-0-1 – the one tie coming by way of a 1-1 double overtime game in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, in which the Aggies eventually advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks.
Although the Aggies have never dropped a match to the Tigers, the Aggie coaching staff has been working on keeping the team focused coming off the emotional loss to Florida. The A&M coaches will again look to senior captain Rachel Lenz to keep the team from dwelling on the previous result.
“Phil [Stevenson, associate head coach] said something that struck a chord with a lot of girls, in that we need to be upset after the [Florida] game until we get back to College Station, and then it’s back to business,” Lenz said. “The girls need to know that we are a good team and sometimes games just don’t go our way. I think the girl’s mentality is really good for this week, everyone has shifted their focus to this Thursday and not dwelling on the loss.”