Leaders utilize team chemistry for title push
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 00:09
Soccer season has kicked off and the Aggies second tour in the SEC is underway with preseason play.
After winning the SEC West and losing in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships in their inaugural SEC season, the Aggies have their sights set on bigger and better things.
“We’re expecting big things for this season,” said junior forward Allie Bailey. “Last year, we won the SEC West and this year we’re looking to win the whole SEC Championship and our biggest goal is to win a national championship.”
Upperclassmen will play a vital role in the Aggies quest for their first national championship after losing four starters to graduation last season. Led by juniors Kelley Monogue and Bailey, the 2013 Aggie squad is returning 14 letter winners, including seven starters from last year’s SEC West Championship team.
A&M will have a strong class of newcomers, including senior ex-tennis star Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, who led the Aggies to a second- place finish at the 2013 NCAA tennis national championships.
“There are six freshmen, and they’re a big part of our team because we have such a small roster this year,” Bailey said. “We need everyone on the team to step up and play well.”
However, playing well is only one ingredient in the recipe to a postseason run. Another factor is team chemistry, something Coach G Guerrieri has established as a mainstay for
“I think, first and foremost, the team has done a good job of welcoming and having an inviting environment for the new girls,” Guerrieri said. “Chemistry is something we put time, effort and attention to, and I think from all my years here, I can’t remember having a team with any better chemistry than
The maroon and white opened its season with a strong non-conference schedule and fell to the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils 1-0. After winning the next two games against Arizona State and UTSA, the Aggies dropped to an even 2-2 record following their loss to Pepperdine last weekend.
“Everything we do, we have to learn from,” Guerrieri said. “I wish we weren’t having to learn from two tough losses, but sometimes those are the ones you learn the most about yourself and what you’re susceptible to, so it’s good that it happened early on in the season.”
The Aggies will next take the pitch when they host the San Diego Toreros at 8 p.m. Friday, and will open SEC play on Sept. 20 against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn.
From Guerrieri to his players, confidence is at an all-time high with a title run in sight.
“I expect we go as far as the national championship,” Monogue said. “Obviously, that’s the biggest thing you can do and we have a lot to work on, but I wouldn’t be coming to A&M if I didn’t want to win a national