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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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If you’re a fan of high-scoring baseball, Thursday’s matchup between No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 3 Arkansas probably wasn’t for you. But...

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024

Life on the fast track

There are athletes who must balance the demands of both their coaches and professors.
There are the cowgirls and cowboys who enjoy A&M’s rural atmosphere and its great agricultural school. There are those who bleed maroon inherited from their parents. There are those who are very religious and look to God to guide them . There also are those who are leaving home to settle down with their one true partner.
It is unusual when all of these descriptions fit one person. However, that is the case with the Texas A&M soccer team’s new star, freshman forward Linsey Johnson.
The side of Johnson that most people see is the blazing speed that allows her to knife through defenses and catch goal keepers off guard.
Johnson scored a goal in each of the Aggie’s first six games before her streak ended with Colorado on Sunday. If she holds that pace, she will break the A&M freshman record of 13 goals set by Jamie Csizmadia in the Aggie’s inaugural season, 1993.
Johnson holds the team’s second fastest 40-yard-dash time — only freshman Emma Smith was able to beat her — but it may be her speed at adjusting that has helped Johnson the most.
“Most freshmen, no matter how good they are, their heads are spinning,” said soccer head coach G. Guerrieri. “She got a lot of that out of her system in the spring.”
Johnson gained an advantage over most freshmen by graduating from high school after the fall semester of her senior year and attending A&M during the spring. That enabled her to practice with the Aggies for an entire semester before playing any games.
“I’ve never really had the opportunity to have excellent coaching or playing with an excellent team of this caliber, and it apparently paid off,” Johnson said.
With Hermann Award-nominee Nicky Thrasher and All-Big 12 first-teamer Heather Ragsdale returning at forward, Guerrieri originally tried moving Johnson to another position. But when she continued to score goals every day in practice from the defender and midfielder positions, Guerrieri decided to move her back to forward.
With such an impressive show in practice, Guerrieri was not surprised with her offensive explosion.
“We totally expected it,” Guerrieri said. “When we brought her in, we knew she was a great athlete.”
The others schools recruiting Johnson had little chance because of her early graduation and her many ties to A&M.
Her parents, Dennis and Laquita, her brother, Matt, and her great-grandfather, Elvin Thompson, all attended A&M, but her strongest family tie is to her fiance Brad Woodard, who already was attending A&M. They were engaged this August and are planning to be married in July.
“We just have both felt that God has shown us to be together and be married, and we didn’t see the point in waiting another four years before I graduate to get married,” Johnson said. “I think it will actually help me with soccer because he is such a huge supporter.”
Johnson began playing soccer at the age of four. She played eight seasons for the Midland Blast Soccer Club and was the leader in scoring and assists every year.
At Midland Lee High School, she was the school’s all-time goal scorer despite playing only three seasons. Soccer was not her only athletic venture as she gained letters in track and tennis.
However, the activity she enjoyed most was the rodeo.
“I’m a real big cowgirl,” Johnson said. “I grew up with horses and cattle. I have my horse that I miss really bad. I love the rodeo and working cattle, and I miss it so much. I love that stuff.”
After falling short of a Big 12 championship last season, the Aggies welcome Johnson to a team that should make another run at the title.
“With the record that Nicky and Heather have and the speed of Emma, I hope we are a force to be reckoned with,” Johnson said. “We are still moving up the ladder. We haven’t even peaked. I just think it’s going to continue to get better.”

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