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Photo by Chris Swann, TexAgs
Texas A&M Soccer

A&M and LSU settle for disappointing deadlock in season finale

October 26, 2023

The opportunity to claim a share of the SEC West Division title and take full control of its postseason destiny descended into disappointment as Texas A&M played LSU to a scoreless draw in the regular-season finale on Thursday night in Baton Rouge.

A&M (8-6-4, 4-3-3) now begins the single-elimination Southeastern Conference Tournament in Pensacola, Fla., as the 6-seed.

Receiving a bye, they’ll face 3-seed South Carolina in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

For the sake of their NCAA Tournament aspirations, the Aggies’ rematch with the Gamecocks after falling to them one week ago is absolutely a must-win.

Of course, a victory over the Tigers on Thursday would have assured A&M part of the division crown, higher seeding in the conference tourney and a better postseason resume.

Chris Swann, TexAgs
Texas A&M and LSU each put up 13 shot attempts on the night.

Stout defenses from both sides resulted in a gridlocked first half. Utilizing their speed, the Aggies often found space on breakaways and transitions, but possessions fizzled out prematurely.

LSU graduate goalkeeper Mollee Swift prevented A&M from finding the back of the net, recording all four of her saves in the opening 45.

Even one goal would have made all the difference.

But the Aggies failed to record a single shot-on-goal in the last 45 minutes.

Still, that’s not to say there weren’t chances in the second half.

In the 77th minute, a shot attempt by Grace Ivey flew out right. Two corner kicks in the last 10 minutes weren’t capitalized upon. A series of desperate shots in the closing moments fell short, including Margo Matula’s attempt in the 89th minute.

Perhaps the closest LSU came to running away was on a penalty kick by Swift in the 56th minute that deflected off the crossbar.

This season — somewhat turbulent at times — saw narrow losses coupled with impressive wins over teams such as then-No. 19 Alabama and Mississippi State.

Midway through conference play, a 6-0 thumping by Vanderbilt made claiming a share of the western crown seem like a long shot.

But even one shot against the Tigers could have been the difference on Thursday.

It might even be the difference in reaching the NCAA Tournament.

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A&M and LSU settle for disappointing deadlock in season finale

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