Story Poster
G Guerrieri
Kenna Caldwell
Carissa Boeckman
Texas A&M Soccer

Kenna Caldwell's wonder strike lifts Texas A&M to first win of 2023

August 31, 2023
4,386

Finally.

After a rocky start to the season, Texas A&M (1-2-1) finally found the win column with a 2-0 victory over Tulsa on Thursday night at Ellis Field. Starting goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell boosted the Aggies with a miraculous free kick missle that found the back of the net from about 50 yards out six minutes into the second period.

“You don't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. 

The Maroon & White nearly opened scoring with a goal by Mia Pante in the seventh minute that was ultimately called offsides.

Forward MaKhiya McDonald picked up a yellow card in the 10th minute as she high-kicked into a Tulsa player without making contact with the ball.

“Usually I do try to bend it in for a serve, but this time I felt like it was right in my range. So yes, I was trying to hit the back of the net, but the main thing I was thinking was don’t hit it out of bounds, and then it went in.” 
- A&M goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell

In the 46th minute, Tulsa had its first shot on the A&M goal as Caldwell recorded her first and only save of the match.

After her big stop, Caldwell then pulled off the impossible.

Golden Hurricane defender Madison Tokarchik earned a yellow card for fouling Carissa Boeckmann in the 51st minute.

Caldwell subsequently took the free kick in Tulsa’s half and somehow earned her first career goal.

“Usually I do try to bend it in for a serve, but this time I felt like it was right in my range,” Caldwell said. “So yes, I was trying to hit the back of the net, but the main thing I was thinking was don’t hit it out of bounds, and then it went in.” 

A foul by Tulsa midfielder Liliana Fernadez gave the opportunity for a set piece that Sammy Smith assisted to Boeckmann who capitalized and doubled the lead for A&M in the 57th minute.

“[Smith] did a good job of dragging out the defenders to open the gap for me,” Boeckmann said.

A&M right back Adysen Armenta made a run to the opposing goal and took on four players. Nearly adding to the lead, the ball was deflected out by a Golden Hurricane defender when Armenta attempted a pass in front of the goal.

“We had a lot more urgency going forward from our outside backs,” Boeckmann said.

Now with their first win in the books, the Aggies will travel to Fort Worth to battle TCU on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT.

“I think it’s a good confidence boost for the team because they know that they've been playing well,” Guerrieri said. “You know they know that they've been creating a lot of chances. Now, going up to Fort Worth is always a challenge. TCU is a very good team.”

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Kenna Caldwell's wonder strike lifts Texas A&M to first win of 2023

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