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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 soccer outshoots competition, shuts out Southern

The+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+soccer+team+secured+their+fourth+win+of+the+season+on+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+8%2C+defeating+Southern+University+5-0.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Samuel Falade

The Texas A&M soccer team secured their fourth win of the season on Wednesday, Sept. 8, defeating Southern University 5-0. 

Texas A&M defeated the Southern University Lady Jaguars Wednesday, Sept. 8, with a lopsided 5-0 performance at Ellis Field.
The maroon and white hit the ground running and never looked back. By the end of the matchup, the Aggies outshot the Lady Jaguars 38-3, with 19 of the home team’s attempts coming in the first half alone. Along with 12 corner kicks and over 75 percent of ball possession, A&M dominated Southern through the game’s entirety.
While happy with his athletes’ performance, A&M head coach G Guerrieri said the team is still looking to the future for areas to build upon.
“With every game we’ve played, we’ve steadily improved from one match to the next,” Guerrieri said. “We’ve got to continue with our progress in being able to play within ourselves while understanding what our opponents are going to do.”
In addition to the shutout victory, the Aggies saw success, with every healthy player on the roster recording playing time at some point in the game.
Once the matchup began, the maroon and white immediately applied offensive pressure. A foul by the Lady Jaguars outside the box in the 16th minute gave the Aggies a free kick attempt, taken by sophomore defender Lauren Geczik. The shot sailed over Southern’s defenders toward the middle of the goal, but a last-minute curvature break put the ball into the top right corner of the net and out of reach of diving senior goalkeeper Chioma Eriken.
Though the former SEC Offensive Player of the Week had taken eight shots this season before facing the Lady Jaguars, Geczik’s free kick signaled the first to hit its target. The defender said her focus has not been on outdoing last year’s performance. Instead, she is taking a more group-oriented approach, Geczik said.
“It felt great to break the ice,” Geczik said. “I just want to do what’s best for the team, whether that’s assists, goals or defensive plays. It felt really good.”
Multiple shots on goal followed, but none connected before the half, sending A&M to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
Unsatisfied with their slim margin, senior midfielder Daria Britton said the Aggies spent their reprieve adjusting the speed of play and attacking approach.
“We worked on changing our intensity,” Britton said. “We wanted to build on [what was good in the first half]. We’ve been working on high pressure, and it really showed.”
Fresh out of the break, A&M doubled its lead in the 51st minute. After driving up the middle, freshman defender Mia Pante and freshman forward Makhiya McDonald strung together a pair of assists for freshman Maile Hayes. The forward used Eriken’s offcentered balance to her advantage by chipping the ball the other direction and into the top shelf.
Thanks to her two scored against the University of Texas at El Paso on Sept. 5, Hayes used Wednesday to tie sophomore midfielder Kate Colvin at three for most goals scored this season. Guerrieri said Hayes’s ability to do so as one of the youngest players on the team showcases her potential as a team leader.
“The sky is the limit,” Guerriri said. “She’s so opportunistic. She’s so hungry to score, and that’s exactly what you want to see out of a young striker who knows her role.”
Soon after, Geczik struck again, this time in the 55th minute. The Houston native sent an assist into the air toward Britton inside the box, who capitalized on the moment by launching her body forward. Britton headed the ball into the net’s back corner, putting the maroon and white up 3-1.
A pair of A&M daggers near the end of the match sealed Southern’s fate. The first, notched in the 77th minute, came on an assist by Colvin to freshman forward Natalie Abel. Using some “fancy footwork” to break away, Abel drove down the left side before crossing Eriken and hitting her mark on the opposite side.
After another three minutes, mostly filled with ball possession by A&M, sophomore midfielder Natalie Yoo scored the final point of the night. Assisted by junior forward Ali Russell, Yoo stopped the ball inside tight congestion within the box before slinging it into the net’s top shelf.
With that, Yoo became the 11th Aggie this season to score at least one goal this campaign. Guerrieri said he is excited about what this means for the team’s future success.
“We’ve been talking about the depth of this team, and the girls are showing it,” Guerrieri said. “There are a lot of people who can score. When we make a substitution, the next girl is ready to show up and [score] as well.”
Following A&M’s win, its record climbed to 4-2-0. Southern’s loss dropped the visiting team to 2-3-0.
The Aggies can now set their sights on their next competition — a matchup against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. Set for a 1 p.m. kickoff in Stillwater, Okla., the upcoming game promises to be one of the maroon and white’s most difficult yet. The two squads last faced each other just four short months ago in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, with the Aggies scraping out a 4-3 win in penalty kicks following a 3-3 double-overtime performance.
Not willing to let the Cowgirls exact their revenge, Geczik said the Aggies have no doubt they will leave Neal Patterson Stadium with a victory.
“We have something to look back on,” Geczik said. “It’s going to be our game. That’s going to get us the win on Sunday.”

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