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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 hosts upset-minded Arkansas with crucial SEC implications

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Photo by File
A&M soccer

The No. 23 Texas A&M soccer team returns to Ellis Field Friday to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the last weekend of the 2015 season.

The match is extremely crucial as A&M will try to continue to climb up the SEC ladder with the SEC tournament beginning in two weeks. Three games remain for the Aggies, who are tied for fourth in the SEC with Ole Miss and Auburn with 15 points — one point shy of Florida, South Carolina and Missouri, who all sit in a tie for first with 16.

A&M (12-4-0, 5-3-1 SEC) is coming off of a 1-0 road win at Kentucky. Freshman Ally Watt has found her form at the perfect time, scoring three goals in two of the last three games. Sophomore Haley Pounds leads the team in scoring with nine goals on the season and freshman forward Emily Bates has provided an all-around offensive impact in her first year at A&M, scoring five goals and recording five assists in 12 games.

Arkansas (5-9-1, 1-6-1 SEC) sits in last place in the SEC but managed to draw with South Carolina 2-2 on Oct. 3. Getting that result appeared to give the Razorbacks the spark they needed to get their season on track, but they have lost every game since scoring only one goal and giving up four. Midfielder Claire Kelly leads the Razorbacks in scoring and is 10th in the SEC with six goals this season.

A&M head coach G Guerrieri discussed the difficulties Arkansas present with their odd style of play.

“Arkansas is a team that is very different than the teams we’ve played in the past,” Guerrieri said. “They’re effectively ugly the way that they play, and they’re a really hard team to play against. They have a lot of good set plays and their coach [Colby Hale] is really good about getting the best out of his players.”

Ellis Field has made the Aggies virtually unbeatable this season. A&M holds an 8-0 record there and has outscored opponents 24-2.

A&M came out victorious 2-1 last season in a tight game away to Arkansas, and Guerrieri said he knows they will be trying to pull off the upset.

“It’s a game that’s been a very tight one here the last few times we’ve played,” Guerrieri said. “Whether it’s been here in College Station or up in Fayetteville, it’s been a one-goal game, so we’ve got to be very efficient, and we’re expecting some questionable weather, which will undoubtedly help a team that is looking for random crazy bounces and that’s the way they play.”

Guerrieri said he is confident his team can play well and extend the season by continuing to win.

“[The season] really has flown by,” Guerrieri said. “It’s just buzzing by. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’d like it to be fun for another seven to eight weeks through the post season, and we’ve got a team that can do that but we’ve got to take care of business Friday night.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the match can be seen on the SEC Network.

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