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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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A&M and Baylor draw 1-1 at packed Ellis Field

Junior+Forward+Maile+Hayes+%288%29+shoots+the+penalty+kick+that+ties+the+game+at+the+Aggies+match+against+Baylor+at+Ellis+Field+on+Saturday%2C+Aug.+26%2C+2023.
Photo by Connor May

Junior Forward Maile Hayes (8) shoots the penalty kick that ties the game at the Aggie’s match against Baylor at Ellis Field on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.

Texas A&M soccer hosted the Baylor Bears at Ellis Field on Saturday, Aug. 26, where the stands were filled with over 6,000 fans cheering on the Aggies in the team’s annual Fish Camp Match.
“More than anything I was really proud of the crowd,” coach G Guerrieri said. “The freshman class really showed up tonight. I’m assuming it was over 6,000 tonight and we only seat 2,500 in this venue so that is a testament to the support of the team.”
The two squads gave their best efforts as they battled to a 1-1 draw.
“We played a great attacking game,” Guerrieri said. “It was a great attacking game both ways around. We didn’t score on so many chances. It’s obviously something we’ve got to work on and we’ll get started on it right away because we’re going to play so many teams that were not going to get this many chances on.”
In the 16th minute, senior Baylor midfielder Ashley Merrill was the first to score a goal, picking up a point for Baylor with help from sophomore forward Tyler Isgrig and freshman defender Natalie Vatter.
The Aggies struggled to score most of the match despite outshooting the Bears 22-5 and tallying six shots on goal, while the Bears recorded only two.
“I feel bad for our attackers because they are creating all kinds of opportunities,” Guerrieri said. “Twenty-five opportunities to score and we just don’t hit the goal and we don’t force the goalkeeper to make many saves.”
In the 75th minute, junior forward Maile Hayes broke the seal for the Aggies and ended the scoring drought when she nailed a penalty kick into the right side of the goal. The crowd erupted and a swarm of maroon and white jerseys surrounded Hayes to celebrate.
“We’re really proud of ourselves for digging ourselves out of a hole,” Hayes said. “We went down 1-0 with so much time left to go. It would’ve been much better if we would have come out with a win, but it’s progress.”
The goal was a redemption shot for Hayes as she showed disappointment in her body language after a missed shot on goal in the 47th minute. The attempt was saved by sophomore goalkeeper Ashlee Zirkel.
Zirkel played outstanding defense for the Bears, recording five saves to stop the Aggies, while the maroon and white’s fifth-year goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell picked up just one save.
Both teams displayed aggressiveness and toughness on defense as a series of fouls and yellow cards were issued throughout the match. The Bears picked up two yellow cards, one of which set the Aggies up for a penalty kick after the card was issued to senior defender Blythe Obar.
The Aggies and the Bears rotated a series of shot attempts in the final minutes as both squads attempted to break the tie.
The final shot on goal came just a minute before the end of the second half from fifth-year forward Sammy Smith, who hit the ball out to the top right.
A&M will be back at Ellis Field Thursday, Aug. 31, to play the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
“We’ll focus right now on just pure recovery,” Guerrieri said. “Today was a hot day, it was 105 [degrees] in College Station today so it’ll be pure recovery as far as what we need to do physically. Mentally, it’ll be flushing the bad out of this, learning from it and it’ll be full steam ahead looking at Tulsa.”

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