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

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

The Battalion

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Aggie soccer tops Tulsa in exhibition

The fifth-ranked Aggie soccer team got their first opportunity to showcase their squad against someone other than themselves Saturday night when they defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2-1 in an exhibition match at Ellis Field.

Both A&M goals were scored in the first half, and the Aggie defense held their own until a Tulsa shot off of a corner kick slipped through to the back of the net midway through the second period.

A&M welcomed in a talented freshman class, and those talents were on full display as both Aggie goals were scored by newcomers.

After putting an onslaught on the Golden Hurricane goal for the opening portion of the game, the Aggie offense finally broke through in the 19th minute. Senior Karlie Mueller found McKayla Paulson on a corner kick. The ball eventually found its way to Brittany Crabtree, who deflected it past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Just four minutes later, A&M doubled its lead when a Tulsa clearance landed at the feet of Emily Bates. Bates rocketed a shot into the upper 90 from twenty yards out, bringing the Ellis Field crowd to their feet.

Coach G Guerrieri was pleased with his team’s performance, especially considering the team has not had much time to develop chemistry playing against real competition.

“Winning wasn’t even our main focus tonight, the main focus was on performance,” Guerrieri said. “This is a very young team that’s been together for all of 10 days, so being able to play against another side was important.”

Two Aggie keepers, redshirt sophomore Taylor Saucier in the first half and freshman Mia Hummel in the second, split time in goal. Saucier pitched a shutout, and while Hummel and the Aggie defense allowed a lone goal in the second half, Guerrieri liked what he saw from the back end.

“Tulsa is a really good side, and there were points where they had some really good sustained possession,” Guerrieri said. “They scored and gained a bit of momentum at the end of the second half, but for us we know it’s the basic foundation of who we are. We know we’ll only get better from here.”

For Bates, scoring a goal in her first collegiate appearance was a sweet relief.

“It’s a big weight off my chest,” Bates said. “It was just really relaxing to be able to score a goal. The team played really well tonight and it was a great win.”

Guerrieri said the young team’s chemistry has been a great surprise throughout camp, and it was on display Saturday.

“I think our chemistry is one of our many strengths,” Guerrieri said. “They’re out here working hard for one another and you can see there’s a lot of people covering for each other.”

The Aggies will officially open their season on the road when they take on the Rice Owls Friday Aug. 21 in Houston.

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