Texas A&M Soccer

No. 5 Aggies suffer first home loss of the season to No. 23 Tennessee, 4-0

October 21, 2018
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The No. 5 Texas A&M soccer team (5-3-1 SEC) fell to No. 23 Tennessee (6-2-1 SEC) in their first home loss of the season on Sunday night. The match was scoreless until the 74th-minute mark, when the Vols went on a tear, netting four goals in 6:12. 

"That was the worst six minutes of our season and (maybe even) at home in years," A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. "But you've got to give credit where credit is due, we made four mistakes and they punished us for them. We had chances to score and we didn't." 

Part of the defensive mistakes were likely due to the absence of center back Briana Alston, who left the game in the 14th minute with a foot injury. Alston had played every minute of the 2018 season prior to today's match. Her teammate, forward Ally Watt, who leads the SEC in scoring, did not play in the match due to a viral infection. 

"We're hopeful that medication will help and that she'll be back on her feet tomorrow,"
- Guerrieri said of Ally Watt

"We're hopeful that medication will help and that she'll be back on her feet tomorrow," Guerrieri said of Watt. "With Briana [Alston], it's a reoccurrence of an injury that happened to her earlier in the year, she could have soldiered through the second half but Jordan [Hill] was playing well so we didn't try to do anything."

The Vols were the aggressor in opening minutes of the first half and had some big opportunities on goal. A&M goalkeeper Cosette Morche had to make a couple of great saves including stopping a rocket shot that she was able to tip over the goal. The Aggies heightened their level of play in the latter portion of the first half, however. Tennessee outshot the Aggies eight to five prior to the intermission. 

"We started off really slow but I was really pleased with the effort that the players made to get out of the hole that we were in and have the better of the chances for the rest of the half," Guerrieri said.

The maroon and white shot out of the gate in the second half and had ample opportunities on frame but were unable to find the back of the net. Tennessee goalkeeper Shae Yanez bailed the Vols out with four incredible saves. 

"I thought both goalkeepers had great games," Guerrieri said. "Their kid made four big saves and that's the difference in the match."

The Vols commandeered the momentum in the 74th minute as they were able to capitalize off of an A&M defensive mistake and score on a cross that was slotted across the six-yard box. The goal initiated a four-goal Tennesse streak. All of the goals were due to defensive mistakes and errant passes in the Vols' attacking third. A&M midfielder Addie McCain said that the team has already begun to put the mistakes behind them.

"We made a mistake and they just capitalized each and every time, it's hard to make mistakes against good teams and not have them do what they did," McCain said. "We're just going to refocus and get back to doing what we do. Every day is a new day." 

The Aggies will have a chance to end their losing streak on Thursday as they travel to Columbia to take on No. 8 South Carolina. Vanderbilt defeated the Gamecocks on Sunday to clinch the regular season SEC Championship. Kickoff for the A&M-South Carolina match is slated for 5:30 p.m. and it will be televised on SEC Network.  

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No. 5 Aggies suffer first home loss of the season to No. 23 Tennessee, 4-0

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