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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Home field advantage: NCAA tournament edition

Photo by Photo by Cristian Aguirre

Senior midfielder and captain Mikaela Harvey has played in 81 games and has started in 67 games.

After winning the SEC tournament championship, the Texas A&M soccer team will look to win another championship as they begin the NCAA Tournament on Friday against the Lamar Cardinals. A&M is 17-2-1 on the year after winning 13 straight games to place second in the SEC in the regular season and win the tournament.
The Aggies were given a two-seed by the tournament selection committee which means the Aggies will host until at least the regional semifinals, and possibly all the way until the NCAA Women’s College Cup in Orlando, Florida, should they get there.
The Aggies and Cardinals are matched up with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the IUPUI Jaguars, with the winner of each facing off in the regional quarterfinals. Third-seeded USC will play Eastern Washington, with the winner of that game playing the winner of Rice and Baylor on the other side of the bracket, setting up a potential USC-A&M matchup in the regional semifinals at Ellis Field. A&M’s region also includes first-seeded Duke and fourth-seeded Texas.
“We really can’t worry about the draw,” Guerrieri said. “All we can worry about is that Lamar comes in with an 18-3 record and have won 12 games in a row. They’ll come in with nothing to lose. All of my focus is on this Friday, and if we get past this Friday, then we’ll worry about other things.”
Lamar finished their regular season at 18-3-1 and won the Southland Conference Tournament after beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin in tournament play. Lamar is led by junior Kelso Peskin, who leads the team in both goals and assists, with eight and 11 respectively.
“Steve Holeman, who was most recently the coach at Georgia, has really done an outstanding job there,” A&M Head Coach G Guerrieri said. “He’s brought in a new belief system, the players believe in themselves, they believe in what’s going on, they believe they’re going to win.”
Texas A&M is led by sophomore Ally Watt, junior Emily Bates and sophomore Cienna Arrieta. Watt leads the team in goals scored with 11, while Bates leads the team in assists with six and Arrieta has scored three times this year, while adding on four assists.
“This is an extraordinary group,” Guerrieri said. “They go into every game knowing that they’re going to win, and sometimes we don’t know how it’s going to happen. They believe in each other and fight for each other, so it makes it fun for us. It’s not even that nerve-racking cause we come into the game knowing that they know they’re going to win.”
The Aggies and Cardinals will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at Ellis Field on Friday`. Should the Aggies win, they would take on the winner of Notre Dame/IUPUI next Friday, Nov. 17 at home for the second round of NCAA tournament.

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