Story Poster
G Guerrieri
MaKhiya McDonald
Texas A&M Soccer

No. 21 Texas A&M takes down South Alabama at Ellis Field, 4-1

September 11, 2022
1,298

Back on track.

Following its first loss of the season on Thursday, No. 21 Texas A&M marched to its fifth win after dispatching South Alabama on Sunday afternoon in a 4-1 rout. Halfway through the team’s season-long four-match homestand, the Aggies have now outscored visitors 21-4 on the year.

A&M’s depth shined with four different players contributing to the scoring effort, often leaving the Jaguars scrambling in their high press. In total, 12 Aggies have registered goals in this year’s campaign.

“I think the depth that we have makes it much more difficult for opponents to handle us because we aren’t just a one-trick pony,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “If we had just one big striker, they would have people dropping all over our one big striker…just a lot of good performances to make the weekend a good finish for us.”

Brooke Homfeld, TexAgs
McDonald’s goal on Sunday is her team-leading fifth on the year.

Despite consistent pressure on the backline, the Aggies failed to capitalize on several chance opportunities in the opening minutes.

Off a corner-kick deflection, junior midfielder Kate Colvin swung into the penalty area and fired a spinning shot into the top corner to open the scoring in the 18th minute. From there, the Aggies’ physicality and speed often overmatched in one-on-one situations and led to the blowout.

South Alabama responded with an equalizer less than four minutes later on a breakaway score by Monique Gray. A&M defender Mia Pante raced shoulder-to-shoulder with Gray until tripping on what she gestured as a foul. With plenty of clearance, she slipped just the fourth goal conceded by the Aggies this season past a diving Kenna Caldwell.

Determined to break the deadlock before the half, A&M’s patient attack was rewarded.

Laney Carroll lofted a high pass into the box with Jai Smith finding the back of the net to stake a 2-1 advantage at the 41st-minute mark.

Five Aggies were credited assists, with sophomore midfielder Carissa Boeckmann registering two.

Out of the break, sophomore forward MaKhiya McDonald wasted no time reasserting A&M’s potent offense.

In the 53rd minute, Maile Hayes chipped a short pass to McDonald, who, without hesitation, sent a high-arching ball underneath the woodwork. A quick touch-and-go sequence then resulted in Hayes finding her own goal nearly six minutes later.

McDonald continues to operate at a team-leading pace with five goals. Her offensive prowess comes as a tremendous improvement after only posting one goal through 18 games and nine starts as a freshman last season.

“One of the things we talked about most was that this was an important bounce-back game. To bounce back against a team that is tops in their league and have only given up one goal this season is a challenge.”
- A&M head coach G Guerrieri

“Definitely, my confidence has gone up,” McDonald said. “Getting the opportunity to work in the spring and the offseason on just having the mentality to score goals is now transitioning into the game. I’m just keeping that same mentality through the whole season."

In 2021, the Aggies struggled mightily in Southeastern Conference play, finishing a mere 3-6-1 (7-9-2 overall) and missing the league tournament for the first time since the school’s inception into the SEC in 2012.

Guerrieri hopes today’s win ultimately serves as a launching pad as the team embarks on its SEC slate next Friday against Georgia.

“One of the things we talked about most was that this was an important bounce-back game,” Guerrieri said. “To bounce back against a team that is tops in their league and have only given up one goal this season is a challenge.

“Total squad victory for us today because South Alabama is a really well-organized, well-coached team.”

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No. 21 Texas A&M takes down South Alabama at Ellis Field, 4-1

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