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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Down a different path: Lopez becoming key player for A&M soccer

Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Freshman Jimena Lopez has started in seven games for the Aggies this season.

It is rare when a freshman gets solid playing time, and it is even rarer for a freshman to play every game, but that’s exactly what freshman Jimena Lopez has done.
Lopez has played in all nine games for the Aggie soccer team this season, starting in seven. Lopez is fifth on the team with 659 minutes played, by far the most among freshmen on the team.
“I’m happy about the confidence and trust the coaches have in me,” Lopez said. “But I still need to work on a lot of things so I can get better to help the team.”
Lopez played at St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, despite originally hailing from Mexico City, where she led the Spartans to the championship of the 2015-16 Southwest Preparatory Conference girls’ soccer championship.
Lopez plays for the Mexican women’s national teams, and has competed in multiple international tournaments, including the 2015 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Lopez started all four games in Jordan, and scored once as she led Mexico to a fifth-place finish.
“It was the best experience of my life,” Lopez said. “All the different nationalities of teams competing were awesome and how organized it was and how well they treated us, it was amazing.”
Lopez originally was not sure whether she was going to play in Mexico or the United States after college, but eventually chose Texas A&M. Despite being a defender, Lopez scored in her first two collegiate games for the Aggies against Pepperdine in overtime to win and against San Diego.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to study here or in Mexico.” Lopez said. “I got the opportunity to come here and I came on a visit and I loved it, and it’s close to home, only a two-hour plane ride. I was very excited and very happy to score in my first game. I just took the shot and it went in and I was just happy for the team.”
As for any international athlete who comes to the U.S. for college, there is an adjustment period where they have to get used to playing in a completely different country where their first language probably isn’t spoken, but the differences in playing for the Mexican national teams and Texas A&M doesn’t affect Lopez.
“It’s very different,” Lopez said. “It’s different than every league I’ve ever played in and every game is different, there are a lot of subs.”
Lopez and the Aggies will continue their season on Friday as they host the Arkansas Razorbacks at Ellis Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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