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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Texas A&M soccer returns to winning ways in home opener

Senior+defender+Jimena+Lopez+celebrates+her+goal+with+her+teammates.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Senior defender Jimena Lopez celebrates her goal with her teammates.

The Aggies’ belated home opener resulted in a dominant 2-1 win against conference rivals Florida on Sunday.
The first half was dictated by the home side, with the Aggies racking up nine shots. The maroon and white also earned four corner kicks in the first half, one of which resulted in the opening goal in the 22nd minute. Freshman Barbara Olivieri whipped in an in-swinging corner and the Gators’ goalkeeper was powerless to deflect the ball from going into her net.
Florida’s insistence on playing out from the back got the Gators in trouble multiple times during the match and led to a conceded penalty kick in the 28th minute after a clumsy defensive challenge. A&M senior Jimena Lopez coolly dispatched the spot kick to double the Aggies’ lead.
The Gators finally managed to register a shot in the final minute of the first half, which was handled well by A&M goalkeeper Shantel Hutton.
Florida was much improved coming out of the restart and managed to pull a goal back in the 58th minute against the run of play. A sequence of passes initiated in the midfield saw the ball fall to sophomore Syd Kennedy, who slotted the ball neatly into the bottom right corner.
A&M had plenty of chances to increase its lead in the second half, and was unlucky to hit the bar on a couple of occasions. The Aggies held considerable advantages in both the shot (18-5) and corner kick (7-1) departments and also had the lion’s share of possession throughout the match.
A&M coach G Guerieri said he was impressed with his team’s pressing efforts on what was a particularly warm Sunday afternoon.
“We knew if Florida could get into a rhythm then they could be a really dynamic and dangerous team,” he said. “Our players’ ability to keep pressure on them and make them feel uncomfortable as possible was a big part of winning.”
With the loss, the Gators fall to a 1-1-1 record, while the Aggies improve to 2-1-0 in this shortened fall season.
The Aggies return to the pitch on Friday, Oct. 16, at Ellis Field against Mississippi State. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.

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