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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M shuts out Rice 4-0 in final tuneup before SEC play

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Photo by Photo by Jaime Rowe

Senior F Jazmine Wilkinson (21) chases after the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Grambling State on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 at Ellis Field. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)

Don’t be quick to count out Texas A&M soccer.
After a shaky start to the season in which they tallied just six goals through five games, the Aggies found the back of the net 12 times over their last two matches. The second of those matches was a 4-0 shutout of Rice in Houston on Sunday, Sept. 10, to improve to 3-3-1.
A&M dominated Grambling State from start to finish earlier in the week with six goals in the first half alone. On Sunday, the Maroon and White brought a similarly balanced attack with two goals in each half from a different player each time.
“You never get anything easy,” coach G Guerrieri said. “I was pleased with the way that we were able to attack … It’s kind of what the doctor ordered for us to be able to keep possession for us to be dangerous and attack [and] create a lot of scoring chances. We keep getting a little bit better everyday.”
The surge in scoring is an improvement for a team that struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities at the beginning of the year. It couldn’t come at a better time, with conference play set to begin on Friday, Sept. 15, when Kentucky visits College Station.
“[We’re] just focusing on the little things,” senior midfielder and player of the match Taylor Pounds said. “Keeping possession, playing to our wingers and just playing to our strengths. I think this gives us a lot of confidence going into those games just to really bring our all.”
The Owls entered the match with a 2-4-1 record and 1.43 goals per game. Sunday’s shutout is the second in a row for fifth-year goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell, who has allowed just two scores over A&M’s last five matches. She made three saves in Sunday’s game, as A&M led in shots 23-7 and shots on goal, 11-3.
The Aggies wasted little time setting the tone of the match, as junior forward MaKhiya McDonald capitalized on a miscommunication by the Owls in the third minute. Rice graduate goalkeeper Hannah Pimentel left the penalty box for a ball chased down by McDonald and Rice sophomore midfielder Kallie McKinney, but kicked the ball directly into the back of McKinney. McDonald located the ball at the upper corner of the penalty box and sent it to the back of the open net.
A&M finished the first half the way it started it with senior midfielder Kate Colvin’s goal in the 44th minute. Sophomore midfielder Sydney Becerra connected with a wide open Colvin at the top of the penalty box before the Magnolia native found the corner of the net after advancing 10 yards. Graduate forward Sammy Smith also earned credit for the assist.
“I think it’s an emotional problem for the other team when they give up those goals right before the half,” Guerrieri said. “Good for us and good for these players, because they’ve been working so hard.”
Like Colvin, senior forward Jazmine Wilkinson picked up a goal in her second-straight game after recording a pair versus Grambling State. This time around, the Arizona State transfer lofted in a goal off Pimentel’s deflection of a cross from McDonald in the lower corner in the 60th minute.
Junior forward Maile Hayes rounded out the scoring in the 69th minute with an unassisted goal. After her initial shot was blocked by Pimentel, Hayes took the rebound in the goal box and sent it through. Hayes and Wilkinson pace the team in goals this season with three each.
“[The team] has played so well in so many of our games, [we] just haven’t had those putaways,” Guerrieri said. “Tonight, to be able to get it by four different players is terrific.”

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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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