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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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Aggies drop season opener against top-ranked Seminoles, 1-0

Photo by Abbey Santoro

Sophomore midfielder Barbara Olivieri, a Thursday standout, crosses the ball to her teammates. 

No. 9 Texas A&M soccer traveled to Tallahassee to take on No. 1 Florida State in the opening match of the season for both squads on Thursday, Aug. 19. The game remained locked at zero until the Seminoles scored a last-minute goal, defeating the Aggies 1-0.

The match, originally slated to start at 6 p.m., was delayed for nearly an hour due to lightning in the area. 

The first half proved to be a defensive slugfest for both teams. While Florida State attempted four shots to A&M’s one, the Aggies were not without opportunities. In the 13th minute, a promising attack by freshman forward Makhiya McDonald was narrowly stopped by a Seminole defender. 

In the second half, Florida State continued to knock on the door, attempting 10 goals to A&M’s one. Despite this, A&M junior goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell’s six saves kept the score knotted at zero. However, Florida State’s Clara Robbins recovered a save by Caldwell and fired off a goal with just 1:28 remaining in the match.

The Aggies were unable to spark a late rebuttal, and Florida State secured the home win, 1-0. A&M head coach G Guerrieri, entering his 29th season with the Aggies, said he is still proud of his players, even in defeat.

“I feel for them,” Guerrieri said. “It’s tough to give up a goal in the 89th minute when you’ve battled the No. 1 team in the land so hard and so well.”

The Aggies were offensively ineffective for most of the contest, keeping possession for just 31 percent of the game and attempting only two shots, while the Seminoles attempted 14. The maroon and white also committed twice as many fouls as its opponent, with eight.

Despite the loss, Guerrieri was confident the Aggies could grow from the experience and learn from a team as talented as Florida State.

“FSU is probably the most patient college team in possession that I’ve seen at the college level,”  Guerrieri said. “So, the fact that our young team was able to keep our focus the entire match and carve out a few scoring chances ourselves is definitely something we will build upon this season.”

Guerrieri also commended the A&M defense for keeping Florida State from scoring for almost the entire match despite multiple chances from the Seminole offense. He particularly praised Caldwell and junior defender Katie Smith.

“I thought Katie Smith was fantastic tonight on our backline,” Guerrieri said. “We had a number of players who put in outstanding performances, but Katie was just incredible, as was Kenna Caldwell in goal.” 

Guerrieri made it clear the squad is focused on bouncing back from the early defeat and getting back in the win column against TCU and Clemson.

“We now have to quickly recover physically from this battle, return to Texas, and get regrouped for another road game against another Top 10 opponent on Sunday,” Guerrieri said.

The Aggies return to the Lone Star State on Sunday, Aug. 22, where they will face off against No. 8 TCU. The action begins at 7 p.m. at Jane Justin Field in Fort Worth.

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