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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The referees and starting lineups of the Brazilian and Mexican national teams walk onto Kyle Field before the MexTour match on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M soccer team defeats Bulldogs 2-1 in Friday game at Ellis Field

Texas+A%26M+vs.+Mississippi+State
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State

In a power battle with No. 23 Mississippi State, the No. 5 Texas A&M soccer team improved their record to 13-1-1 with a 2-1 win during senior night at home.
The first half started in A&M’s favor, as the Aggies unleashed a barrage of 15 shots but couldn’t quite find the target. Junior forward Ally Watt found the back of the net twice, but offside calls from the referee meant neither could count as a goal. Ten minutes before the half, A&M freshman striker Ásdís Halldórsdóttir bumped into Mississippi State goalkeeper Rhylee DeCrane, leading to an altercation. Halldórsdóttir was given a verbal warning and DeCrane was shown a yellow card.
As the Aggies were standing to take the free kick, midfielder Emily Bates was pushed to the ground by Mississippi State midfielder Hailey Zerbel, who was immediately shown a yellow card. This confrontation seemed to spark both teams, as the Aggies and Bulldogs raced up and down the field looking for the first goal of the match.
In the second half, the Aggie offense struggled to create chances as they had in the first. However, the Aggies were much more clinical, as Watt showed dominance by scoring her 12th goal of the season. Watt received a long ball from sophomore midfielder Addie McCain and proceeded to breeze past two Mississippi state defenders and unleash a shot that DeCrane could not handle as it rolled to the back of the net in the 60th minute.
The Aggies struck again in the 77th minute when a shot passed by DeCrane and Ásdís Halldórsdóttir finished the rebound. A&M was forced into desperate defending in the closing moment of the game as they conceded two corners in the 90th minute. Mississippi scored as chaos in the box led to Brooke McKee finding the back of the net in the middle of the scrum.
The star of senior night was none other than senior midfielder and forward Emily Bates, who continued her great form after scoring a brace against Kentucky in the last match. Although she was not on the score sheet, Bates was an important part of A&M’s win, said A&M head coach G. Guerrieri.
“Emily Bates was outstanding tonight,” Guerrieri said. “Look at the way she played. She was our player of the game just in the way she controlled the ball, but also the way she worked off of the forwards and then she worked in coordination with Addie McCain.”
On a night when the Aggies were faced with a challenge, Guerrieri said he was most pleased with how the team kept its composure.
“[Mississippi State] tried to disrupt us,” Guerrieri said. “They wanted to get us out of our game. They wanted to stall and make it to where they didn’t have to play the full 90 minutes. Our players, I thought, were very professional in the way that we handled it. It’s a shame that we gave up a goal with a minute left in the game because up until that point we had thoroughly outplayed them in every facet of the game.”
The Aggies will look to continue their hunt for first place in the SEC as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama this Thursday at 6 p.m.

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