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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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Texas A&M soccer bounces back against No. 9 Clemson

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Photos by Samuel Falade

Texas A&M recorded 11 shots against Clemson, with six being shots on goal.

Rebounding from starting the season with two-straight losses, the Aggies competed in what is considered to be one of the most attended soccer games in collegiate play.
On Saturday, Aug. 28, Texas A&M made its first win of the season against No. 9 Clemson University. This was the first home game of the season for the Aggies and also the first home sporting event of the fall season for all of A&M Athletics. Additionally, this game served as the annual Fish Camp Night, typically earmarked as one of the highest attended NCAA soccer matches each year.
A&M coach G Guerrieri said playing in front of such a large audience helped lift the players’ performances.
“It’s a special experience for our players, especially our young players,” Guerrieri said. “To really have their arms wrapped around them by the 12th Man, tonight is a great example of it. Clemson is a dynamite team, they’re incredibly well coached, they’re organized. For us to come out and play as well as we did in front of such a huge crowd is really special.”
By the 10-minute mark of the first half, the game was fairly even with the Maroon and White posting two shots while Clemson had one. However, this all changed at the 27-minute mark. In the goal box, senior defender Macie Kolb played a ball to freshman defender Mia Pante who shot it into the bottom left corner of the net off of her right foot.
This was Pante’s first point addition to her statsheet of her collegiate career. Prior to the match, the Vancouver, Canada native had only recorded four fouls. Pante is now the first player from the Class of 2025 to score a goal as an Aggie.
Pante said scoring her first goal of her collegiate career was an effort by all players on the field.
“Honestly, there’s probably no words to describe [my first collegiate goal]. Macie Kolb played a brilliant ball into the box … There’s so many emotions running through me right now. It was such a team effort and I thought we did so good.”
In the immediate following play, the Tigers tried to answer back, but they were prevented by excellent positioning from junior goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell and senior defender Karlina Sample, forcing the Clemson player to dribble the ball out of bounds.
Caldwell had four saves by the end of the contest, with two occurring in the first half.
With just under 15 minutes remaining in the first half, Clemson’s sophomore midfielder Megan Bornkamp had a handball in the goal box. Sophomore midfielder Barbara Olivieri took the penalty kick but senior goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff managed to make the save in the bottom center of the net.
The first card given in the matchup was handed to Clemson freshman forward Renee Lyles after fouling Kolb with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The second yellow card was given to A&M sophomore midfielder Taylor Pounds early on in the second half. Lastly, another yellow card was issued to Olivieri with just under 20 minutes remaining in the matchup.
The Tigers finally managed to answer back with 27 minutes left in the game when Lyles scored, unassisted, into the bottom right corner of the goal. However, A&M did not want to give up its lead; in under one minute the Aggies managed to regain it by answering back with another goal of their own from Olivieri, assisted by Pante.
However, the Aggies were not done there. With just over 10 minutes remaining, A&M extended its lead to two with a goal from sophomore midfielder Kate Colvin, assisted by Olivieri.
Olivieri said the decision to not ease up after the Aggies’ second goal was the right one.
“We don’t give up, we want to give our all,” Olivieri said. “We could have easily just stepped back after the second goal and stayed back and defended, but we kept going, we left it all out there and got one more goal. It shows how good of a team we are.”
The game concluded, 3-1, after Lyles received her second yellow card of the evening, equaling a red and ejecting her from the contest.
Although she did not add to the game’s statsheet, freshman forward Makhiya McDonald is one to watch during the rest of the Aggies’ season. The Lancaster native displayed her footwork and speed against the Tigers and maintained possession throughout the contest.
In total, 4,330 people attended the game against the No. 9 team.
“Hopefully we’ve earned some more fans and we’ll get some of these people back for the rest of the season,” Guerrieri said.
The Aggies are set to face off against Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 28 with kick-off at 7 p.m., also at Ellis Field.

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