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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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A&M defeats Mississippi State 1-0 for first SEC win

Photo by Ishika Samant

Graduate F Sammy Smith (11) and Kentucky D Maggy Henschler (9) chase after the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky on Friday, Spet. 15, 2023. (Ishika Samant/The Samant)

Texas A&M soccer hit the road and played its second SEC match of the season against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 21.
A defensive battle ensued in the opening minutes of the game as both teams aggressively sent the ball back and forth across the field in attempts to score.
The first shot attempt for the Aggies was made in the 12th minute by junior forward MaKhiya McDonald. Mississippi State answered with a shot attempt of its own in the 17th minute by junior defender Rylie Combs.
In the 22nd minute, sophomore defender Carolyn Calzada went down on the field with what appeared to be a right ankle injury. Play was paused as she was helped off the field and junior defender Quinn Cornog substituted into the game in her place.
Both squads continued to dominate on defense throughout the first half, as A&M strategically crowded the midfield with four defenders to make it hard for the Bulldogs to dish the ball to each other.
Mississippi State eventually found ways to break through the Aggie defense, allowing them to conclude the first half with five shot attempts while the Aggies only recorded one.
The Bulldogs continued to connect with the ball, taking a series of shots to open the second half.
In the 49th minute, senior goalkeeper Maddy Anderson made a goal kick for the Bulldogs. Following with back-to-back shot attempts was junior midfielder Ilana Izquierdo in the 52nd minute.
Graduate goalkeeper Grace McClellan saved one of the attempts — one of five that she recorded during the match — while the other was blocked by a Bulldog defender.
In the 55th minute, senior forward Jazmine Wilkinson, the Aggies’ leading scorer, went down. She was able to exit the field on her own, as McDonald reentered the match in her place.
Aggression continued to build in the final minutes of the match, as McDonald committed a foul in the 58th minute that allowed a free kick for Hodge, but she was unable to convert.
Sophomore midfielder Georgia Leb went for a right-corner kick in the 64th minute, and despite a well-placed ball, a swarm of maroon jerseys in front of the goal kept the ball out of the goal.
It wasn’t until the 83rd minute of the match when the Aggies finally ended the scoring drought after senior Bulldog midfielder Macey Hodge committed a foul on junior forward Maile Hayes. Going full speed into the penalty box, Hayes was cut off and knocked down by Hodge.
Fifth-year forward Sammy Smith nailed the ball into the top left of the net off of the penalty kick to give the Aggies the lead.
In the final minute of the match, Mississippi State made one final attempt to score when sophomore forward Maggie Wadsworth took a shot towards the top left of the net, but it was saved by McClellan.
Although Mississippi State was unable to find the back of the net, the Bulldogs outshot the Aggies 13-7 and 5-2 on goal.
The Aggies will continue SEC play against No. 11 Arkansas at Ellis Field on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m.

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