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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M soccer boosted by four official signees

Photo by Via
Soccer Signs Four Recruits

The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2026 is headed to Aggieland.
Announced Wednesday, Nov. 11, by head coach G Guerrieri, the Texas A&M soccer team finalized four new additions to the roster for the 2022 season. The players — all high school seniors — submitted certified National Letters of Intent and will leave their hometowns a semester early to join the maroon and white as early enrollees for practices beginning in spring of 2022.
Guerrieri said he believes the additions bring much-needed strength and depth to the roster.
“Each of the four players bring unique and high-level abilities to different parts of our lineup, and each is an outstanding person,” Guerrieri said. “They are each ferocious competitors.”
The group of new recruits is made up of midfielder Sydney Becerra from Flower Mound, midfielder Georgia Leb from Colleyville, forward Caroline Kniffen from Lewisville and defender Carolyn Calzada from Sugar Hill, Ga.
Becerra spent the last five seasons playing for Solar Soccer Club, leading the team to a Dallas Cup title earlier this year. At Flower Mound High School, she boosted the Jaguars to a Texas Class 6A state title in the 2020-21 season and helped the team reach its near-perfect 23-1-2 record. In doing so, Becerra was named the 2020-21 Texas Girls Soccer Gatorade Player of the Year while also garnering accolades which include All-State First Team, UIL Soccer Class 6A All-Tournament Team and District 6-6A Most Valuable Player.
“She is easily one of the most gifted and special attacking midfielders in America because of her ability to possess and break down organized opposing defenses,” Guerrieri said of Becerra. “She is also a goal-scorer, both in the run of play and as a set-piece master of free kicks.”
Leb also played for Solar SC, joining the team a year before Becerra and winning the ECNL U14 national championship in 2017. Leb was listed as one of the U14 Best XI in the 2018 Girls DA Summer Showcase, eventually going on to earn a spot in both the U.S. Soccer U18 Women’s National Team virtual camp as well as the U.S. Soccer CONCACAF Girls U15 Championship roster. No stranger to College Station, Leb was invited to the U.S. Soccer Training Center Combine when the event was hosted in the area. Outside soccer, Leb maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international college honor society.
“Georgia is a gifted and versatile player with the ability to help us in many roles and phases of the game,” Guerrieri said of Leb. “She gained a lot of outstanding coaching and guidance throughout her career while competing for regional and national titles.”
An alumnus of D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club ECNL, Kniffen is set to join the Aggies as one of the best scorers in the nation. After scoring the winning goal in the 2018 U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships 15U title match, Kniffen was named the Most Valuable Player of the competition. The Prestonwood Christian Academy student also spent time with various U.S. Soccer Girls Training Center camps, including the Dallas location and the id2 Training Center in Arizona.
“Caroline is an incredibly fast and dangerous attacking force. She is one of those players that just runs past and away from opponents, setting up dangerous scoring situations for her team,” Guerrieri said of Kniffen. “She truly is a nightmare for opposing defenders.”
Calzada, recognizable to many Aggies by her last name, is the younger sister of now-starting quarterback Zach on the A&M football team. She has played for Tophat Soccer since 2016, leading the team to a Girls Academy Southeast Region title and a spot in the Nationals earlier this year. Calzada was a team captain in high school, leading her squad to a program-best overall record of 20-1-1 and 12-0 regional resume. The five-time GRIT Award winner and eventual Gold Grit 2021 Player of the Year also lettered in cross country while serving as a club advisory representative for the Girls Academy League.
“She is very comfortable with the ball at her feet and well versed in starting attacks. She will immediately make us better at breaking whatever pressure our opponents try to put us under,” Guerrieri said of Calzada. “Additionally, CC is a great teammate and proven winner. In short, she will make Texas A&M tougher to score against and better in possession of the ball in our transition to attack.”
A&M had only four seniors on its roster in the 2021 campaign, all of which still have another year of eligibility because of NCAA protocol changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guerrieri said he believes the new roster additions made the correct choice by committing to wear the maroon and white alongside other great players.
“I’m proud … that [the four new players] have put their trust in us to provide an inspirational experience like current and past Texas A&M players have received in Aggieland.”

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