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The Battalion

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The Battalion

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Aggies tie Wildcats to start conference play

Graduate+F+Sammy+Smith+%2811%29+pushes+the+ball+up+the+field+while+Kentucky+D+Maggy+Henschler+%289%29+tries+to+gain+possession+of+the+ball+during+the+first+half+of+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Kentucky+on+Friday.+Sept.+15%2C+2023.+%28Ishika+Samant%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Ishika Samant

Graduate F Sammy Smith (11) pushes the ball up the field while Kentucky D Maggy Henschler (9) tries to gain possession of the ball during the first half of Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky on Friday. Sept. 15, 2023. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

In a close-match stalemate, Texas A&M soccer tied with Kentucky in its first conference game, 1-1 on Friday, Sept. 15.
The Maroon and White ended the night with 10 shots, only three on target, in a match that had both sides on their toes for 90 minutes.
A&M came into the game outscoring its last two opponents, Grambling State and Rice, 12-0.
The start of SEC play was a back-and-forth defensive battle until the 40th minute, when the Wildcats were fouled in the box by senior midfielder Kate Colvin. Wildcat graduate forward Jordyn Rhodes took the penalty kick and was initially blocked by fifth-year goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell, but Rhodes scored on the immediate rebound.
“I was shocked with the call, but obviously there’s nothing you can do about it, so I just tried to make the most of it in the rest of the half,” Colvin said.
The Aggies didn’t take long to respond, as fifth-year forward Sammy Smith played the ball off to Colvin in the 44th minute for a header shot into the upper-right corner, evening the score at 1 going into halftime.
“[Smith] played me a great ball… [and] I just threw my head in there and saw it go in the back of the net,” Colvin said when asked about her goal. “It was kinda like a weight lifted off going into the half.”
Colvin now has 12 career goals and 10 assists in her 38 starts at A&M.
“She was her own Department of Justice,” coach G Guerrieri said when asked about Colvin’s redemption shot. “That’s a really tough call, … [but] we talk about [how] it comes down to wanting it more than your opponent.
“The ball that [Smith] served was a brilliant ball, and [Colvin] just rose above everyone, and frankly wanted it really bad, and went up and headed it,” Guerrieri said. “You can just see the desire in the kid, [and she has] three games, [with] three goals now, coming off an injury.”
The second half began similarly to the last, with the defensive stalemate lasting the remainder of the game.
Both teams ended with 10 shots against one another. However, Caldwell totaled five saves to Wildcat graduate goalie Marzia Josephson’s two. Kentucky retained 57% of time of possession throughout the game.
“I thought our defense did really well on being able to limit their dangerous opportunities,” Guerrieri said. “The problem was when we would win the ball, we kept giving the ball back.
“It was something that … the players going in at the end of the game [were] finally able to string some passes together,” Guerrieri said. “[We were] able to finish with the front foot, and really almost could-of-should-of taken the 3 points, if not for some really good defensive plays by Kentucky.”
Next, A&M will have 48 hours to prepare to face Texas Southern, back at Ellis Field, on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.

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