No. 22 Texas A&M (12-3-3, SEC 6-2-1) rallied to earn a 5-3 victory over Missouri (7-9-1, SEC 2-9-1) on Sunday.
As the Aggies found themselves down within the first three minutes of playing time, they leaned on senior forward Ally Watt’s four-goal haul to come back for their sixth conference win.
Watt, now leading the Aggies with 14 goals, marked her second-career hat trick after also scoring four times against the Tigers in last season’s SEC Tournament.
A&M coach G Guerrieri said Watt’s four-goal performance was nothing short of what he expected from her at this point of the season.
“Ally Watt with six goals on the weekend is a pretty special week,” Guerrieri said. “That's how you want your seniors and your All-Americans playing.”
Following one of the game’s first shots on goal by A&M senior midfielder Grace Piper, the Tigers raced down the field off their counter attack and Sarah Luebbert notched the opening goal of the match for Missouri.
The Aggies took their shots early through the first half, but it took multiple attempts before one found the back of the net.
Almost midway through the half, Watt tallied two goals within a five-minute span to put the Aggies ahead of the Tigers. For the equalizer, junior midfielder Addie McCain found the ball after it was played in by freshman defender Katie Smith into the penalty box and crossed it to Watt just in front of the goal as she tapped it in.
Then in the 21st minute, McCain played the ball wide right of the box for Watt as she was closely marked by a Missouri defender and let her finish for the goal to put A&M up 2-1.
The Tigers were able to create chances off corner kicks and shots from mid-range but were not able to convert in order to take back the lead throughout the rest of the game.
Within the last two minutes of the first half, junior midfielder Rheagen Smith won the ball down the left side and crossed it to sophomore midfielder Tara Ziemer at the top of the penalty box, allowing her to land her shot through the legs of Missouri’s defender and into the bottom left side of the net off her first touch.
Almost immediately after resuming playing time after the half-time intermission, Watt added in her third and fourth goals of the match. At the 50-minute mark, sophomore forward Ásdís Halldórsdóttir sent in a corner kick that found Watt for the header and hat trick. About five minutes later, McCain hit Watt deep downfield, unmarked, for her fourth goal of the evening.
The Tigers attempted to rally with two more goals, but ultimately were unsuccessful.
Following her two-assist performance, McCain said that the team executed the way it was supposed to and should now take this momentum moving in toward the end of the season.
“We outnumbered them and were able to play our game,” McCain said. “It was something we have wanted to do for a while now...And today proved that we can do that, it gave us the momentum we were looking for."
The Aggies will resume play against the Ole Miss Rebels in the regular season finale on Oct. 31 at Ellis Field. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.