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Photo by Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Texas A&M Soccer

No. 15 Texas A&M opens SEC play with 3-0 win over Mississippi State

September 19, 2019

No. 15 Texas A&M soccer defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-0 on the road in Starkville to kick off their SEC season. The Aggies, now 6-1-2, improved to 8-0 all-time against the Bulldogs following the decisive shutout victory. 

Coming off a tough loss against a talented Boston College team, the Bulldogs (5-4) were looking to begin a challenging ten-game stretch of SEC play on the right foot. The Bulldogs are hoping to improve their standings in a strong SEC In their first season under head coach James Armstrong. 

The Aggies and Bulldogs looked evenly matched in the first half. In the 31st minute, the Aggies had a chance to score off a penalty kick, but pair of headers from Addie McCain and Jordan Hill both deflected off the crossbar in a fluke play before Mississippi State managed to clear the ball and end the Aggies’ scoring opportunity. 

With neither side pulling away, the first half was marked by continuous swings in possession and drives up and down the pitch. 

Following the break, the Aggies seized the momentum and never looked back. A&M’s offense dominated, putting up fifteen shots in the second half and totaling twenty-four on the night. 

In the 57th minute, Jimena Lopez, with an assist from Taylor Ziemer, launched a beautiful deep floater into the right corner of the net to give the Aggies the 1-0 lead. Lopez, the team’s leading scorer with 16 points this season, continues her streak of outstanding play, tallying a goal and assist on the night. 

In the 68th minute, Addie McCain launched a ball out of the Aggies’ backfield. The shot hit Ally Watt in stride, leaving the speedy senior in a footrace with a lone defender. Watt buried it in the left corner of the net to push the A&M lead to 2-0. 

In the 71st minute, Jimena Lopez sent a cross from far left field that missed its intended target. However, some quick footwork from Taylor Ziemer allowed the forward to slide one in the bottom right of the goal to put the Aggies up 3-0.  

With the offense hitting their stride, the Aggies’ defense continued their streak of dominance. The shutout win over the Bulldogs marks the seventh shutout match for A&M through eight games played. With the support of a stellar backline, goalkeeper Shantel Hutton looked sharp, making five saves on the evening. 

A&M head coach G Guerrieri spoke highly of his team’s ability to make adjustments following a slow start to the match. 

“To finish the first half, our players did a good job of playing out of some trouble,” said Guerrieri.

“In the second half, we were able to make a couple of adjustments. The players went out and really put it all together. Addie McCain was really setting things up from the middle of mid-field. That ball into Ally Watt on the breakaway was awesome. The buildup for all the passes that set up Taylor Ziemer on her goal was also a thing of beauty.

“It’s a great win for us. Three points on the road in the SEC is a well-done night.”

The Aggies will be back in action at home on Sunday when they face off with the UTRGV Vaqueros at Ellis Field.

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