Story Poster
G Guerrieri
Barbara Olivieri
Carissa Boeckmann
Texas A&M Soccer

Aggies fall to No. 15 Tennessee, 3-1, as skid reaches four games

October 1, 2021
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No. 15 Tennessee defeated Texas A&M, 3-1, Friday night at Ellis Field to extend the Aggies’ losing streak to four games, the longest in program history. 

The Aggies were determined to pull out with their second conference win of the season while sparking their newly adjusted offense with leading goal scorer Maile Hayes and reigning SEC Freshman of the Year Barbara Olivieri rejoining the starting lineup. Freshman standout Mia Pante remained absent yet again for the Aggies missing out on her fourth consecutive match, as well as midfielder Daria Britton. 

“We got to get our health back. That will be one of our big points of emphasis for the next few days. To just get that and to get ourselves back into playing the way that we play, not having to play the way the other team plays,” Guerrieri said. “Which means we have to dictate the middle of the field.”

“I think we definitely need more work ethic, more heart in the game because we can’t let a 1-0 lead happen, 3-1. That’s something we’ve been saying we need to work on, so we actually got to do it and turn this thing around for the tournament.”
- A&M midfielder Barbara Olivieri

Though the injury bug has bitten the team early on in the season, A&M head coach G Guerrieri has strategically prepared the young team to the fullest while not harming their learning progression. 

“There are certain players where you can see progress in the way they are playing. I thought Maile Hayes continued to get better, and it was nice to see her back out on the field,” Guerrieri said. “Same thing with Barb [Olivieri]. There’s still kind of a shadow of themselves as they continue to get back to their fitness. Makhiya McDonald has stepped up her game. Lauren Geczik has done a great job in stepping up her game, and tonight, Carissa Boeckmann was a great example of someone who continues to step up.”

Tennessee flew out the gate with a shot on goal just seconds after kickoff as A&M goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell registered her first save of the match.

The Aggies picked up three early offside calls with Hayes leading an eager charge into the attacking third. Possession was evenly split, with Tennessee taking advances of their own only to be met by spectacular defense from Aggie defender Katie Smith. 

Boeckmann was able to fire a lateral from 20 yards out in the 38th-minute, with Tennessee keeper Lindsey Romig sliding across the end of the post to make the save. The ball soon slipped from Romig’s gloves only to be quickly recovered by A&M, with senior Macie Kolb deflecting another chance shot off the top woodwork. 

After 45 minutes of play, the ice was yet to be broken.

The match played quietly as both teams returned to the defensive gridlock established in the first half. 

In the 52nd-minute mark, Boeckmann dribbled through a herd of orange to break loose and slant one home from a Jai Smith assist. Boeckmann’s score marked the first goal for the Aggies in three games. 

“It felt good. I hit the crossbar on Pepperdine; I missed that, so it felt good to put one away,” Boeckmann said. “I just wish we were able to get a result out of it.”

Tennessee found an equalizer of their own just three minutes later to tie the match at 1-1, quickly cutting off the Aggies’ lead. 

The Volunteers took a 2-1 lead after forward Jaida Thomas finished a header past the hands of Caldwell in the 62-minute mark.

The Volunteers continued their dominant second-half as they earned their third goal of the game and half at the 75th-minute mark to cushion their lead. 

“I think we definitely need more work ethic, more heart in the game because we can’t let a 1-0 lead happen, 3-1,” Olivieri said. “That’s something we’ve been saying we need to work on, so we actually got to do it and turn this thing around for the tournament.”

Tonight’s loss pushes the Aggies to 5-6-1 (1-3-0) on the season. Tennessee now holds the all-time series advantage, 7-3-0. 

The Maroon & White are set to head back out on the road to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they will take on No. 24 LSU on Thursday night. 

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Aggies fall to No. 15 Tennessee, 3-1, as skid reaches four games

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