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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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Late Florida State goal spearheads 2-1 victory over A&M

Photo by Chris Swann

Junior F MaKhiya McDonald (5) attempts to keep possession of the ball against Florida State M/D Amelia Van Zanten (17) during a match at Ellis Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. 

For Texas A&M soccer, there was no time for tune-ups to start the season.

After two exhibitions against SMU and Texas State in the preseason, the Aggies welcomed the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles to College Station for the season opener. Despite sharing similar final stats, the Seminoles’ one extra shot on goal ended up making the difference, giving Florida State the 2-1 advantage over the Aggies.

After the game, coach G Guerrieri said that despite the loss, he is proud of how his team played and how younger players stepped up to the challenge.

“I’m disappointed in the result, because I thought that the players, both teams, worked and played really hard,” Guerrieri said. “I thought it was a very high-level game. People talk about college soccer being super physical and not sophisticated. I thought this was a very sophisticated game. It was a chess match in a lot of ways.”

From kickoff, the Seminoles controlled the majority of possession. A&M, who usually puts an emphasis on controlling the ball, was forced to play defense for most of the first half.

After breaking through the Aggies’ defense twice and getting two shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, the Seminoles opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Senior Florida State forward Beata Olsson sliced through A&M’s backlines, hitting a shot that floated high over graduate goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell’s head to give Florida State the 1-0 advantage.
The Aggies finally broke through the Seminoles’ defense in the 39th minute. After junior defender Quinn Cornog launched a deep pass to junior forward MaKhiya McDonald, the Lancaster native outran sophomore Florida State defender Heather Gilchrist in the corner. McDonald booted a cross to graduate forward — and Boston College transfer — Sammy Smith, who headed the ball past senior goalkeeper Cristina Roque.

The Aggies had one more shot on goal in the 43rd minute, but Roque — an All-ACC preseason selection — saved it, taking the game to the half tied 1-1.

“I think there’s a lot of things that we can look at that we can do better,” Guerrieri said. “ We’d like probably one more pass in our buildup would help us out. A little more patience in our buildup would help us out.”

In the second half, both squads locked up defensively all the way until the 86th minute. It was there the Seminoles took the 2-1 lead after senior Florida State midfielder Iwai Ran skewered the Aggies’ defense with a pass to junior midfielder Taylor Huff. Huff then scored right past a charging Caldwell, giving the Seminoles a 2-1 victory.

“Last season, we had a lot of games where we were scored on in the last couple minutes of the game, and we need to just cut that off completely,” junior midfielder Mia Pante said. “We can’t keep having that as a common theme with our season. So I think we can learn a lot from this, learn from our mistakes. But I think we can still walk away holding our head high from this game.”

A&M returns to action at Ellis field on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. against Washington State.


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