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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 infielder Ryan Targac (12) hits a walk-off single to run-rule Arkansas during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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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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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
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies host Auburn for much-needed home win

Rice+D+Carsyn+Martz+%2820%29+blocks+the+shot+of+sophomore+F+Maile+Haynes+%288%29+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Rice+at+Ellis+Field+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+2%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

Rice D Carsyn Martz (20) blocks the shot of sophomore F Maile Haynes (8) during Texas A&M’s match against Rice at Ellis Field on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.

Fresh off its first win of the SEC slate, Texas A&M women’s soccer prepares to take on the Auburn Tigers in College Station on Friday, Oct. 14 at Ellis Field in College Station.

Before A&M’s 2-1 upset over No. 20 Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., on Sunday, Oct. 9, the Aggies were off to a very slow start. Not only was the team 0-4-1 against ranked opponents, but the exact same record was sported against SEC competition.

“The fortitude and the belief that the players have in each other to get that win was awesome because beating a ranked team on the road is never easy,” coach G Guerrieri said. “Now we get to go home — we get to be home for a big game with Auburn.”

The Aggies’ tough start to the year is justified. Guerrieri called the Aggies the youngest team in the SEC, which contextualizes their season record of 7-5-3 and last-place standing in the SEC West. Twelve players have started in at least nine of the 15 games played so far: two freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors, two seniors and one graduate student.

Leading the Aggies in goals so far this season is sophomore forward MaKhiya McDonald who has scored five times in 15 games played. Offensively, though, the team has run through junior midfielder Kate Colvin and sophomore forward Maile Hayes, who was named the SEC’s most recent Offensive Player of the Week.

Colvin has started 13 games this year and leads the team in points accounted for with nine, four goals and a team-high five assists, and Hayes is close behind with seven goals accounted for, four goals and three assists.

The offense, though it hasn’t been the Aggies’ strong suit so far this year, needs to be a point of emphasis against Auburn. The Tigers have given up just eight points all season, nearly half as many as A&M. The unit is captained by junior goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska, who sits third in the conference with 44 saves. Even with the graduation of last season’s SEC Defender of the Year, Alyssa Malonson, Auburn’s back line has held strong all season.

“Everyone in the SEC is such a strong opponent, and everyone works hard,” graduate defender Karlina Sample said. “Something we’ve been talking about all season is just, ‘How do you respond when things don’t go your way?’”

Sample said, as the oldest on the team and as a team captain, she needs to keep the team focused and prepared, and that’s what the Aggies’ defenders will need against Auburn. One of the players to stay focused on is Auburn’s junior midfielder Anna Haddock. On the season, Haddock sits top seven in the conference in both shots per game and total assists, proving that she has the ability to apply pressure to the of the players to stay focused on is Auburn’s junior midfielder Anna Haddock. On the season, Haddock sits top seven in the conference in both shots per game and total assists, proving that she has the ability to apply pressure to the strong defenses of the SEC.

“Going forward, we have four SEC games left, and we’re ready to win them all,” redshirt sophomore forward Laney Carrol said.

Auburn will be A&M’s second-to-last home game of the season before they travel to South Carolina, are home against Missouri and then end the regular season in Florida. The Oct. 14 game against Auburn will also serve as A&M’s “Former Player Reunion” game, which “is expected to draw Aggie stars from the 1980s through today,” according to 12thMan.com.

With the potential to draw a strong home crowd, the Aggies could find their Ole Miss victory to be a turning point in the season as postseason play approaches. With only 10 SEC teams qualifying for the SEC Tournament each year, a late-season run might be necessary for A&M to avoid missing the postseason for the second year in a row after not even missing an NCAA Tournament since 1994.

NCAA championship in December. 

“We’re going to become who we are in this month, and that’s what is so special about October,” Kuhn said.

The game on Friday, Oct. 7, will begin at 6 p.m. and is designated as the Fish Camp Match, while the game on Saturday, Oct. 8, is set to start at 4 p.m., during which fans are advised to wear green for Mental Health Awareness. 

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