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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 soccer defeats Kentucky in overtime on senior night at Ellis

Senior+defender+Grace+Wright+maneuvers+around+the+defender.
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Senior defender Grace Wright maneuvers around the defender.

On Senior Night at Ellis Field, the upperclassmen shined the brightest for the Texas A&M soccer team as they outlasted Kentucky 2-1 in overtime.

With time winding down in overtime, Junior Mikaela Harvey got a pass from freshman Grace Piper and launched the ball from the 20 yard line over the keeper to win the game.

“I just think it’s really good for us because our team has been fighting the whole entire season,” Harvey said. “The score hasn’t always shown how hard we’ve been working — so it’s just really good to finally like make it pay off.”

Three minutes into the match, Kentucky (4-8-4, 0-6-3 SEC) scored on a goal from Zoe Swift to take a 1-0 lead all the way into halftime.

Following the first half, junior defender Makayla Paulson had a foul in the box that resulted in a penalty kick for Kentucky.

Luckily for A&M, (8-7-1, 3-5-1 SEC) their keeper Danielle Rice’s nerves of steel prevailed. Rice is no stranger to saving PK’s — one in last season’s regular season finale against Mizzou and one earlier this season against UCLA.

Rice hit the ground and blocked the shot with her shin and she said the shooter is the one that’s nervous, not her.

“As they line up to take the PK, ultimately I feel like the pressure’s not on me it’s on the shooter,” Rice said. “In general, they’re the one that’s supposed to make it, not me. So I sit there and I kind of read her signs and I love it because a lot of them love to over commit to, ‘I’m going to stare at the left post, but I’m going to go to the right, you know?’ They make it so obvious where they’re going.”

After Rice blocked the PK keeping her team in the match, momentum swung back toward the Aggies and it paved the way for an overtime win.

With 17 minutes left in the match and when the team needed a goal down 1-0, senior midfielder Sarah Shaw stepped up for her team.

After not being 100 percent during practice, Shaw got in the second half and took a cross from junior Haley Pounds and found the back of the net knotting the score at a goal a piece.

“It’s just constant dedication to the team,” Shaw said of her performance. “I’m all about the team — all about the 12th Man and am lucky to have big moments come my way. Other people could’ve scored too, but I was just the one in there.”

Following Shaw’s goal, A&M played out the rest of regulation on full attack, constantly calling on Kentucky’s goalkeeper with 10 shots in the second half — six coming from junior Haley Pounds.

When the clock wound down near the end of regulation, head coach G Guerrieri said he knew his team would come out on top.

“We’re going to win it, we’re going to win this thing…,”  was Guerrieri’s message to his team following regulation.”You deserve to win this — but you’ve got to go out and do it.”

The team listened to their coach and in doing so, snapped a two-game losing streak. Tonight’s win, the first since Sept. 18, kept the Aggies in tenth place in the conference. The top 10 SEC teams will advance to the SEC Tournament.

Guerrieri said his team needs to be in top form for Sunday’s match against No. 11 Auburn.

“I think that of all the teams that I’ve seen this season, their final pass is the best that I’ve seen in the country…,” Guerrieri said. “They have scored some of the best goals in the SEC this season and we’re going to have to play at the top of our game.”
The Aggies return to the pitch on Sunday hosting No. 11 Auburn at Ellis Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will broadcast on the SEC Network.

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