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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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Burdened by mistakes, Aggies take first loss at home

Sophomore+midfielder+Addie+McCain+made+three+shots+against+Mississippi+State.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore midfielder Addie McCain made three shots against Mississippi State.

A&M soccer broke their home winning streak with a tough loss against No. 18 Tennessee on Sunday.
As the Aggies stepped on the field for the first half, there were two noticeable changes as leading scorer Ally Watt and defender Jordan Hill were late scratches from the starting lineup. With Watt out due to a viral infection, the Aggies looked to a familiar striking partnership of freshman Ásdís Halldórsdóttir and sophomore Rhegan Smith.
Tennessee flipped the script and piled pressure onto the Aggies’ goal early. Tennessee had five corner kicks and two shots in the first 10 minutes. One of those shots was saved brilliantly by Cosette Morché, who forced the shot onto the crossbar to keep the Aggies from conceding early. A&M defender Briana Alston picked up a knock shortly after and would be replaced by Hill for the remainder of the game.
As the Aggies found their footing in the game, they began to look more threatening. A&M had the best chance of the first half when Tennessee goalkeeper Shae Yanez misplayed a ball that would have to be cleared off the line by midfielder Katie Cousins. The Aggies looked to their bench to try and find a goal, putting together a new striking partnership of Brittany Crabtree and Abby Grace Cooper late in the first half. A&M’s offense struggled without Watt, as they were held to only five shots and one corner kick.
The second half began better for the Aggies as they looked more comfortable, putting pressure on Tennessee’s goal early and more often than in the first half. A&M head coach G Guerrieri continued to experiment with the offense as he partnered Smith and Crabtree as the main strikers with Halldórsdóttir moving to a midfield role. The Aggies began to open the scoring, as shots and chances were made with regularity. Kendall Ritchie’s corner grazed the top of the crossbar in the 65th minute.
In the 75th minute, Tennessee opened the scoring when Danielle Mercardo scored on an assist from Bunny Shaw. Close to a minute later, Bunny Shaw was at it again, this time finding Anna Bialczak and putting the Volunteers up by two. It only got worse for the Aggies as another goal was scored just four minutes after Bialczak’s. This time, Bunny Shaw took it to the goal herself to get on the scoresheet. The final nail in the coffin for the Aggies was put in a minute later when Danielle Mercardo bagged her brace and the Volunteers went up to 4.
Guerrieri said A&M was unable to move past mistakes and it showed on the field.
“You have to give credit where credit is due,” Guerrieri said. “We made four mistakes and they punished us for it. We had chances to score, we didn’t score to go ahead. Kendall [Ritchie] put in some great serves that nobody got on the end of. You can’t let a team off the hook as many times as we let them off the hook. They’re a good side. They’ve got very good players and they’re going to punish you when you make mistakes.”
A&M midfielder Addie McCain said it’s important for the team to learn from this game as they approach the end of the regular season.
“We made a mistake and they capitalized each and every time,” McCain said. “It’s hard to make mistakes against good teams and not have them do what they did. We need to learn from our mistakes and know you can’t make mistakes against good teams and still expect to come out on top.”
The Aggies look for their last regular season victory as they travel to face No. 8 South Carolina on Thursday at Stone Stadium.

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