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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

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggie soccer captures win in SEC home opener

Mikaela+Harvey+attempts+to+dribble+past+defender+in+1-0+win+over+Vanderbilt
By: Lawrence Smelser

Mikaela Harvey attempts to dribble past defender in 1-0 win over Vanderbilt

The Texas A&M Aggie soccer team defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 1-0 in their SEC home opener Friday at Ellis Field.

After a frustrating 70 minutes, A&M finally ended the stalemate after Haley Pounds found the back of the net and made it four consecutive victories for the No. 5 Aggies.

Vanderbilt (4-4-1, 1-1 SEC) opened the game strong and made it clear that they weren’t going to let the Aggies push them around, despite being at Ellis Field. The Commodores were physical throughout the match and had 10 fouls. The Trio of Lydia Simmons, Simone Charley and Sasha Gray made things uncomfortable for the Aggies and gave them trouble. Vanderbilt had two times the amount of shots as A&M with nine compared to A&M’s four in the first half.

A&M (8-1, 2-0 SEC) found their footing in the second half and scored the only goal of the game with 20 minutes remaining. Pounds’ goal occurred after she whipped in a ball from the right wing. The goal appeared to be a cross to Watt but the ball curved around the keeper and Watt blocked the keepers view as she tried to make the save. The finish was Pounds’ seventh goal of the season. Watt and Pounds nearly scored on multiple occasions but couldn’t find a way to put the ball on target.

Coach G Guerrieri shared his thoughts on A&M’s performance after the match.

“I thought Vanderbilt was excellent. [Taylor Saucier] had some nice saves to keep us going and we stayed in the game and then found a way to win,” said Guerrieri. “One of the characteristics of championship teams are to find ways to win games even if you’re not at your best. That was a gritty ugly performance with the right result.”

Goalkeeper Taylor Saucier made six saves during the match on her way to recording her fourth shutout of the season. The keeper talked about what improvements need to be made and recalled her most important save of the match.

“There was a couple times where our defense was trying to clear the ball and they hit another player on Vanderbilt and it would come back in the box. We need to work on getting those clearances out on the first time,” said Saucier.” “The first save the girl was coming in on the right side of the field and she curved [her shot] to my right and it was going near the post but I got there and tipped it out.”

Despite being outshot 12-9 by Vanderbilt, the Aggies still found a way to get out of their second SEC match with a win. Coach Guerrieri switched the lineup to a 4-4-2 in the second half. Pounds discussed the result and the impact the switch made after the game.

“We came out with not enough energy as we wanted to, especially in the first half, but it shows a lot about our team that we were able to come in the second half and get a goal and battle to get the win,” said Pounds. “We hadn’t played [in that formation] at all season but it worked for us in the second half and Ally and I were able to connect more at the top.”

A&M’s next match will be against North Texas on Sunday at Ellis Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the match can be seen on SEC Network-plus.

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