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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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Soccer returns to NCAA tournament

Texas+A%26M+Soccer
Photo by File
Texas A&M Soccer

One year removed from its best postseason in team history, Texas A&M soccer enters the NCAA tournament for the 21st year in a row.

The Aggies (15-6-1, 7-4-1 SEC) start the postseason as host with a Friday matchup against Washington at Ellis Field.

A&M earned the rights to host a match after its impressive run in the SEC Tournament, where the Aggies defeated Ole Miss and LSU but eventually fell 2-1 to Florida in the championship round.

Aggie head coach G Guerrieri said he and his team feel confident after nearly winning the SEC Championship.

“We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t finish off Florida in the final, but again Florida is a pretty good team,” Guerrieri said. “They are number five in the nation for a reason. At the same time though we played well in the win over Ole Miss, the win over LSU and the way that we played in controlling the big part of the game against Florida.”

A&M is led by senior Karlie Mueller and sophomores Haley Pounds and Mikaela Harvey. Pounds is the Aggies leading scorer with 12 goals this season. Guerrieri said Harvey is the pulse of the team and controls the midfield. Freshmen Emily Bates and Ally Watt have scored seven and six goals, respectively. Bates has also notched six assists on the season, which leads the team. 

Washington (12-6-2, 5-5-1 PAC 12) is led by sophomores Shannon Simon and Kimberly Keever. Simon leads the team in scoring with seven goals and has registered five assists on the season. Keever has knocked in six goals for the Huskies. 

Guerrieri said the Huskies come from a strong PAC 12 division, and they cannot be taken lightly. 

“The PAC 12 from top to bottom is loaded with teams so they aren’t going to be intimated by us being able to keep possession by the way that we play,” Guerrieri said. “So we’ve got to make sure that we play at the top of our game because they’re used to and they have beaten some very good teams that are seeded here in the tournament.”

The Huskies are coming off a 3-1 loss to Washington State that occurred on the final game of their regular season on Nov. 5.

A&M leads the all-time series against Washington 4-0. The last match played between the two teams was during the 2008 NCAA Tournament, where A&M ousted the Huskies 3-1 at Ellis Field. 

When playing in the confines of Ellis Field this season, the Aggies won every match except their last game against Ole Miss. Guerrieri said playing at home is a huge advantage for the Maroon and White.

“The fact that all students get into this game free has me pretty excited,” Guerrieri said. “I hope the 12th Man comes out and shows Washington what Ellis Field and Aggieland is all about.”

Guerrieri said if the Aggies play a clean game they should come out victorious.

“If we are technically solid, don’t break ourselves down and if we finish our chances,” Guerrieri said. “We can keep Washington having to chase the game instead of allowing them to get comfortable.” 

Admission for the game is free for A&M students. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. C.T. and the match can be seen on the SEC Network Plus. 

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