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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Soccer

Aggies eliminated in Elite Eight with 1-0 loss to North Carolina

May 9, 2021

No. 7 Texas A&M had not been to the NCAA Quarterfinals in quite some time.

Now, the Aggies will not advance any further in this year’s tournament and have concluded their season. A&M fell Sunday to No. 2 North Carolina in the Elite Eight.

A&M coach G Guerrieri said the loss was a result of not capitalizing on opportunities.

“This was just one of those games where it was two moments,” Guerrieri said. “A moment where we made a fatal error in the back and got too casual with the ball. And then we didn’t take advantage of the errors they made.”

“There are a lot of things that we’re proud of. There is a lot that we have accomplished.”
- Head coach G Guerrieri

The game-winning goal for the Tar Heels was scored late in the first half.

With under two minutes remaining in the first half, North Carolina’s junior forward and midfielder Rachael Dorwart posted her second career goal of the season. 

The ball went into the lower-left corner of the net, assisted by sophomore forward and defender Hallie Klanke. The goal was scored off of Dorwart's left foot.

“We made a mistake on a back pass and they countered on us,” Guerrieri said. “And as we were trying to organize quickly, a kid stepped in and hit a super left-footed shot into the far side netting. Great finish, you just can't make mistakes at this level or teams will burn you.”

The second half was tougher for the Aggies, with most of it being played on A&M’s side of the field.

Not much was generated offensively for the Aggies. A&M had a total of four shots, two of which were on target. Only one shot was taken for the Aggies in the second half.

A highlight of the contest for the maroon and white was sophomore goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell. The Colorado native had two saves and positioned herself very well throughout the match.

SEC freshman of the year, midfielder Barbara Olivieri, recorded the most shots for the Aggies throughout the match. She logged two shots, one of which was on goal.

Guerrieri said that the soccer world is Olivieri’s oyster.

“In the first half today I thought she was the best player on the field,” Guerrieri said. “The newcomer of the year, it’s all rosy. It's up to her, the world is at her feet for her to take advantage of. Today will be something that she’ll learn from and know that there [are] still a lot of things that we can do to move forward.”

Olivieri tied with North Carolina’s junior midfielder Brianno Pinto, who also kicked two shots with one being on target, for most shots in the match.

A&M finished the season at 12-4-1 (7-1-0) and were the 2021 SEC champions. 

Guerrieri said it shows a lot how far the Aggies went following the graduation of so many players after the fall slate. 

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
The Aggies end the season as SEC regular-season Champions for the first time since 2014. 

“For most people and most neutrals and people around the country will look at A&M this year and say we overachieved,” Guerrieri said. “This team still came back [after so many players leaving] and marched through a huge national tournament to get to the national elite eight.”

While it ended on a negative note, this was the first time A&M made it to the quarterfinals since 2017.

Another positive is the potential of A&M’s roster, as the Aggies made it this far into the NCAA Tournament with a starting lineup made up primarily of underclassmen. This was senior midfielder Taylor Ziemer’s final game with A&M. The California native was the lone senior on A&M’s roster this season and served as a leader for the team.

Soccer will return to action in the fall; the 2021 season is only three months away.

“There [are] a lot of things that we’re proud of. There is a lot that we have accomplished,” Guerrieri said.”

Discussion from...

Aggies eliminated in Elite Eight with 1-0 loss to North Carolina

3,002 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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Huh. Had no idea they were playing soccer in the spring. As usual, my second alma mater beats my first one.
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
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It was an outstanding season. Congratulations to the players and coaches.
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Great season Gals !
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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