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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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Aggie soccer prepares for first SEC matchup of the season

Sophomore+forward+Maile+Hayes+%288%29+kics+the+ball+to+her+teammate+at+Ellis+Field+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+8%2C+2022.
Ishika Samant

Sophomore forward Maile Hayes (8) kics the ball to her teammate at Ellis Field on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

Texas A&M’s soccer team looks to defeat SEC competitor Georgia in its first conference match of the season during the Turn it Gold match on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at Ellis Field. 

After a 4-1 win against South Alabama on Sunday, Sept. 11, the Aggies plan to use their rising momentum to take on the notably strong opponent and solidify their position as a powerhouse within the conference this season. According to coach G Guerrieri, Georgia is a prime example of a tough team to beat, with a 6-2 record on the season thus far — but the Aggies are not the type to back down from a challenge. 

“I’m really excited to show that SEC team — and every SEC team — who we are this year,” freshman defender Carolyn Calzada said. “I think our team is really well-prepared, and I think this last weekend against South Alabama was a real confidence booster for us going into conference play.” 

When the Aggies took their first loss of the season, a 2-1 match against TCU, the team’s confidence did not wane. What could have been a discouraging defeat was nothing more than a learning opportunity for Guerrieri and his athletes, especially with SEC matchups looming in the distance. 

“There were really good lessons for us to learn,” Guerrieri said. “The way that they scored against us, and the way that we gave up a goal on Sunday, those are things that we have to fix before we get into SEC play, which has a lot of great coaches.” 

Now that it has experienced a loss and fixed the errors found both in victory and defeat, the team feels even more prepared to enter conference play and come out victorious. 

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now, and we’re just excited to bounce back and show what we’ve got,” sophomore defender Olivia Fetzer said. 

Fetzer noted the physicality that Georgia brings to its gameplay and how important it is to go into SEC matchups expecting a certain level of aggression.

“SEC teams are very physical, and I think we need to take that into consideration when playing against them,” Fetzer said. “It’s not only just going to be about our skill and our possession but also the physicality as well.” 

There’s a different level of intensity when you go into conference play,” Calzada said. “It’s high energy and everybody wants to score, so having patience with the high energy and the nerves – we’re continuing to focus on that.” 

The fiercely competitive atmosphere of conference play is something that the coaches and players have been preparing for since the beginning of the season. 

“The SEC this year is probably the strongest we’ve seen in the 10 or 11 years we’ve been here, so we have to be really, really good at being us,” Guerrieri said. 

But he has no worries about his players, as he cites all of their success to the close connections and bonds that the team has forged within the last few months. 

“When the going gets tough, they’re going to pull each other up; they’re not going to push each other down,” Guerrieri said. “We know there’s going to be some tough times, and some tough challenges in the SEC, and I feel good that the chemistry of the team will help get us through it.” 

The Aggies will begin their match against Georgia on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m, and will continue to make their push towards their first national championship title.

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About the Contributor
Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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