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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 holds out against Colorado to advance in the NCAA Tournament

Junior+M%2FD+Mia+Pante+%2813%29+fights+for+the+ball+against+Colorado+forward+Shyra+James+%2820%29+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Colorado+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+10%2C+2023+at+Ellis+Field.+%28CJ+Smith%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by CJ Smith

Junior M/D Mia Pante (13) fights for the ball against Colorado forward Shyra James (20) during Texas A&M’s game against Colorado on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023 at Ellis Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

After a run cut short in the SEC tournament, Texas A&M found itself hosting as the eight seed in the Tallahassee Regional. Now, the Aggies have a date with Florida State once more, and all it took was one goal.
One very, very high goal.
A&M soccer defeated the University of Colorado in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 1-0 at Ellis Field on Friday, Nov. 10th.
The Aggies return to the tournament for their 28th trip within the last 29 seasons, only missing in 2021.
“We knew that [Colorado] was very dangerous going into the game,” coach G Guerrieri said. “[Shyra] James [was] their big striker up front, [and] to be able to hold her scoreless was a big ask for our defense. Could not be prouder of our goalkeeper and back four, but really the whole team defended [well] as a unit.”
The Fightin’ Farmers struck first in the 22nd minute with a high-arching goal from junior midfielder Mia Pante.
The Vancouver, Canada native sprinted down the field after a quick counter where freshman defender Faith Lebaya met Pante past midfield. The ball was then deflected off Pante’s feet and launched through the air over the goalkeeper’s head.
Other than the A&M goal, both offenses had similar production in the first half, with the Buffaloes having five shots and five corner kicks and the Aggies churning out six shots and three corner kicks.
“The goal was a fortunate one, but came from hard work,” Guerrieri said. “I [told] Pante as we were walking into halftime, good things come to people who work hard, [nobody] could accuse Pante of not being a hard worker.
“It was about time that we had a good break for us this season,” Guerrieri said. “We [have] had so many tough breaks against us the way this season has gone.”
Senior forward Mailee Hayes received a yellow card in the 66th minute because of a call when CU was attempting a free kick.
The second half was mostly a defensive battle between the two teams that, in the end, totaled three yellow cards and 22 fouls combined for the Buffaloes and the Maroon and White.
Heading into the next round of the tournament, the Aggies will face a rematch with Florida State, who played them in their season opener.
Since then, FSU has proven itself the best team in the country, earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, proving to be a massive challenge ahead for A&M.
“Here we are now, facing the team that we opened the season against; [FSU] is clearly the best team in the country … we have our work cut out for us,” Guerrieri said.
The Aggies will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 17th, to face No. 1 Florida State in Tallahassee, Florida, at the Seminole Soccer Complex.

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