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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 take down New Mexico State 2-1 in defensive battle

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore D Macy Matula (18) moves to take a shot on the New Mexico State goal during the match between Texas A&M and New Mexico State at Ellis Field on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.

In a showdown between the Texas A&M soccer team and New Mexico State, the Aggies came out on top — A&M, that is.
The Maroon and White treated the 6,086 fans in attendance at Ellis Field to a gritty defensive performance, besting the visitors 2-1 in a matchup at the annual Fish Camp game on Saturday, Aug. 27. The crowd served as the third-highest attendance total in school history, as well as 11th all-time in collegiate women’s soccer history.
New Mexico State kept the A&M offense in check for the majority of the first half, something the maroon and white haven’t been used to after winning their previous two matches by a combined score of 14-0. The first of three total yellow cards issued to New Mexico State players on what would be a chippy night came in the 22nd minute.
A&M struck first in the 35th minute as freshman midfielder Georgia Leb sent a free kick into a perfect position for sophomore midfielder Macy Matula to head it into the back left corner of the net, her first career goal.
“Since the beginning of the season, we’ve been talking about winning the ball,” Matula said. “I was just focused on getting any body part on the ball. It was a great ball from Georgia [Leb]. It came in, and I just jumped for it.”
While the Maroon and White’s shots and corner kicks far exceeded the amount that New Mexico State attempted, 21 to nine, respectively, they had little to show for it. As it was A&M’s third game of the week, it was evident the players may not have been performing at 100%.
“You’ve got to give New Mexico State a lot of credit, they defended like warriors on the back line,” coach G Guerrieri said. “Our finishing was just terrible. There’s no other way to put it. We were really toothless in the attack. I talked to the players, we’re not going to get 19 shots in a lot of our games. We might get three shots, and we need to stick two of them. I think tonight could be a chance for us to learn a lot of positive lessons.”
The 12th Man was silenced in the 59th minute when New Mexico State sophomore midfielder Bianca Chacon caught the A&M defense sleeping, taking a lofty assist on a breakaway near the goal and sending it past senior goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell to knot the score at one-all. The score marked the first goal given up all season by Caldwell and A&M.
However, just 11 minutes later, sophomore forward MaKhiya McDonald received a cross from junior midfielder Kate Colvin, and, with some nifty footwork, used her left leg to find the left corner for the go-ahead score to put A&M on top, 2-1. As the A&M fans were electrified, the defense received a boost too, allowing no shots on goal from there on out.
“I’m proud of the players because they kept fighting,” Guerrieri said. “There’s a lot to be learned from this, especially with it being just the fourth game of the season. I’m pleased that we found a way to win, more than anything.”
The Maroon and White now prepare to hit the road as they travel north to take on Big Ten foes Illinois and Ohio State on Sept. 1 and 4, respectively. Given the strength of the two teams, the two matches should prove to be good tests as A&M nears SEC play.
“Illinois is going to have some big, strong, physical players that can play,” Guerrieri said. “The same thing with Ohio State. We’re going to have to clean up some stuff, get our heads straight and be ready to go on Thursday for the game in Champaign, Illinois”

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About the Contributor
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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