The No. 12 Texas A&M soccer team earned a come-from-behind victory against the No. 13 Santa Clara Broncos, 3-2, to win its season opener Thursday evening.
Junior midfielder Addie McCain assisted last season’s goal leader senior Ally Watt to kick off scoring for the season with a goal in the 22nd minute of the game. It took seven minutes for the Broncos to respond and the game remained tied until the second half.
Santa Clara scored within the first ten minutes of the second half off a short distance shot. It took that amount of time for the Aggies to then equalize the score. The game-tying shot came from McCain off a deflection sent by freshman forward Ali Russell.
Both of A&M’s goal scorers — Watt and McCain — are experienced veterans with developed chemistry. Watt said their team work and effort along with Russell’s are lead to their impressive win.
“Santa Clara is a really good team and they had us on our heels early. But we just kept fighting,” Watt told 12thman.com. “Addie [McCain] came up with a great goal of her with Ali [Russell] battling in the box.”
The match was at a stalemate for 20 minutes following the game-tying goal. In the 81st minute junior Jimena Lopez drew a penalty kick off a hard-fought run to the goal. Lopez delivered the game winner with the penalty kick.
A&M head coach G Guerrieri said he was proud of the team’s resilience considering how talented and well-coached the opposing Santa Clara Broncos were.
“That’s a great result for us,” Guerrieri told 12thman.com. “I have so much respect for Jerry (Smith) and his team. They had the majority of possession, especially in the first half. I was proud of the way our women hung in there and found a way to come-from-behind for the win.”
Freshman Shantell Hutton made six saves that kept the Aggies alive after the Santa Clara possession control in her career debut.
The Aggies will continue action on Sunday when they play the Pepperdine Waves at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on 97.3 FM.