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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 stay undefeated with Ohio State tie

Graduate+student+D+Karlina+Sample+%2821%29+kicks+the+ball+down+Ellis+Field+on+Thursday%2C+Aug.+25%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

Graduate student D Karlina Sample (21) kicks the ball down Ellis Field on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022.

No. 18 Texas A&M soccer traveled to The Ohio State University on Sunday, Sept. 4, to take on a one-loss Buckeyes team on their home turf. In a defensive bout, both teams emerged with a 0-0 tie, the third shutout for the home team and the fifth for the traveling Aggies.
“It’s a tough road trip for us,” coach G Guerrieri said to 12thMan.com. “To go into Big Ten country and play two good, physical, technical teams [in Illinois and Ohio State] on their home field and on their surface is quite a challenge. I was pleased with the way that we defended both games.”
The defense was A&M’s calling card throughout the trip. During the Thursday, Sept. 1, game against Illinois, the Aggies beat the Fighting Illini 1-0 before shutting out a second consecutive Big Ten opponent in Ohio State a few days later.
Senior goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell has been a standout performer for the Aggies. In her previous two seasons in College Station, she had seven shutouts in her sophomore year and one in her junior year. In her senior season, she has three, saving all four shots-on-goal from Ohio State on Sunday.
“Kenna [Caldwell] did a great job, she’s been doing great all semester, just playing a really consistent game,” graduate defender Karlina Sample said. “It’s definitely what we need in the back, especially coming off the season we had last year and the way that we want to do this year.”
Outside of Caldwell’s goalkeeping, the Aggies’ back line, a mixture of youth and veterans, has been instrumental in pitching five shutouts in six games. Defenders Sample, freshman Carolyn Calzada and senior Katie Smith have all played major roles in the Aggies’ undefeated 4-0-2 start to the season.
“We can hang our hats on defending,” Guerrieri said. “We’re a darn tough team to score against.”
The defensive ability displayed by the Aggies so far this season has offered the team a high floor in play. Even on days like Sunday when the offense is limited both in execution and opportunity — just two shots on goal on 14 attempts and only two corner kicks for A&M — the team still has the ability to pull out a tie.
“It’s not that we played a bad game, the fight was there, it just wasn’t our best,” Sample said. “I know our best is yet to come, we just have some small things we got to clean up, and I know that when we clean it up, our results are going to come with it.
The Aggies will return home after its two-game Big Ten road trip to host four straight home games. The first will come on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., when A&M will play its second ranked team of the season, No. 6 TCU. South Alabama will visit for a game on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m., for the Aggies’ final game before conference play begins with matchups against Georgia and Mississippi State in College Station.
“Now, let’s get back on our surface, let’s get back on our Bermuda grass, let’s get home and build upon this [road trip],” Guerrieri said.

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