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Texas A&M Soccer

Aggie soccer focused on ultimate goal heading into NCAA Tournament

April 29, 2021
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Texas A&M soccer is in the final stages of its pursuit to hold up a national championship trophy. That climb begins Friday at 2:00 p.m. CT against the University of South Florida.

Prior to starting the spring slate, Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri made no secret of his team’s goal of bringing home the ultimate hardware.

“We are legit one of the best teams in the country,” Guerrieri said in January. “We’d like to be the one holding up the trophy at the end.”

Delayed from its usual fall setting due to changes forced by COVID-19, the 2020-2021 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament will crown this season’s national champion. Following their upset over then-No. 3 TCU, the Aggies received a first-round bye and enter the tournament as the 7-seed.

That victory strengthened A&M’s resumé and freed the Aggies from playing in the first round of the tournament. Instead, they will face USF, who defeated Central Connecticut State, 3-0, in an opening-round game.

“Our confidence level is a 10 out of 10,” Guerrieri said this week. “That confidence has carried over into training every day. Everyone has been spot on. The intensity, the energy in practice, every day, has really been at the top of what we’ve seen all year.”

“Our confidence level is a 10 out of 10. That confidence has carried over into training every day. Everyone has been spot on. The intensity, the energy in practice, every day, has really been at the top of what we’ve seen all year.”
-A&M head coach G Guerrieri

Entering Friday's contest, the Aggies have an 11-3 record and were 7-1 in SEC play. USF is 10-0-2 and 6-0-1 in conference play.

Players to watch for A&M are freshman midfielder Barbara Olivieri, sophomore midfielder Kendall Bates and senior midfielder Taylor Ziemer. 

Bates said she, her coaches and teammates have not forgotten about their end goal.

“I think [holding up the trophy] is definitely a realistic opportunity for us,” Bates said. “This year, more than any for sure, we are playing really well. Our mindset is definitely game-by-game. Right now, the only thing on our mind is South Florida, but we are definitely keeping that goal in the back of our minds.”

Ziemer logged the most shots of the first half during the game against the Horned Frogs with three. Bates has only logged one goal and one assist this season, but she is a force on the field when it comes to her passing and vocality.

In her first season of play, Olivieri has recorded a whopping six goals and tallied four assists.

Guerrieri said that the Aggies are preparing to face off against South Florida’s Sydney Nasello on the field.

“Their most dangerous kid is a Floridian from Land O’ Lakes,” Guerrieri said. “[They] are very good at possession. They are very patient. They play with a great amount of poise.”

The full bracket for the tournament can be found here, and you can tune in to the upcoming matchup via NCAA.com or on 97.3 FM.

Guerrieri said his team has a specific outlook heading into the tournament.

“Respect all, and fear none.”

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Aggie soccer focused on ultimate goal heading into NCAA Tournament

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