The Aggie soccer team continues to tack up wins and is now 8-2-1 as we wrapped up our final non-conference match of the year with a 1-0 victory against Utah Valley at Ellis Field Monday evening. The SEC portion of the year has already started, and much as expected, it has been filled with a number of very tight games, all across the league thus far. Below is some news and my thoughts on the season to date. I hope you enjoy!
Hot Hot Hot!!
The Aggies are on a hot streak right now, running off four straight wins! This run includes a well-deserved 2-1 win over preseason favorites Florida at Ellis Field in what will surely be a beneficial result for us, both in the league standings as well as for NCAA Tournament committee conversations. But it’s just one game in a very competitive league.
Last Sunday, our attack came alive again as we scored five in our road win over Missouri. It was great to see Haley Pounds and Ally Watt scoring goals again. They each work incredibly hard and have been so close to scoring in every game this season. Pounds and Watt have now scored three goals in the past three games, each!
In that game against Mizzou, I was especially proud of the way our players handled the adversity of playing down a player following the unfortunate second yellow card to Bri Alston with 33 minutes remaining in the match, and us clinging to a one goal lead on the road. Any number of teams out there would have folded and lost the game, especially when you consider the firepower and athletes Mizzou have in their attack. But our Aggies rallied around each other, didn’t panic, and outscored Missouri 3-0 down the stretch playing 10 vs 11.
We put together another solid performance against a physical Hog side from Arkansas, behind two great Ally Watt goals. So, now we are on a roll! We’ve won four straight and five out of our last six, and now get to focus on our upcoming Thursday night class with Alabama.
SEC Stands Atop the Leagues Around the Soccer Nation
Did you know that the SEC earned the highest winning percentage of a conference during the non-conference game portion of the women’s college season? The SEC was better than the BIG 10. And better than the PAC 12, and even better than the celebrated ACC. The success of the SEC against the other leagues around the country will surely help our teams when the NCAA Selection Committee meets to discuss post-season invitations.
I stated back in July, before teams even started preseason training that I thought the SEC would get at least eight teams into the NCAA “Big Dance” in mid-November. There have been a few surprise results for teams across the league, but I still stand by my prediction as we start to wrap up September play. In fact, right now if the NCAA Tournament committee were to choose the NCAA Tournament field, the SEC would have 10 teams in the 64 team Big Dance!
South Carolina is off to a great start and is the #1 RPI team in the nation! Plus, we have seen Tennessee, LSU, and Florida in the Top 10 so far this season due to great winning percentages in their non-SEC games. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have SC or UT on our regular season schedule in 2017. But, it’s safe to forecast them as potential foes in Orange Beach for the SEC Tournament in early November.
I know it sounds like “coach-speak” but there will be no easy games in the SEC this season. The days where Texas A&M and Florida blew teams out by 5-0 and 7-0 score lines are not going to be seen this year. There is a lot of talented players and coaching staffs in this league, just like in almost any other SEC sport.
The next few weeks are very important for the Aggies. We will be without the services of a few players this week due to injuries – concussions, a stress fracture, a banged up ankle, and off-season surgeries which have held players out of training and games so far this season. Plus, we’ve had two freshmen go down with season-ending knee injuries. We even had our associate head coach (Phil Stephenson) have to go in for arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago. So, we are trying to navigate through some rough water to keep improving and stay on this good roll of form.
SEC Current Soccer Standings
Bama Week in Aggieland!
This week is Bama Week on the Aggie campus. The weekend’s festivities begin this Thursday night at Ellis Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff vs the Alabama soccer team, and conclude on Saturday evening at Kyle Field when the two American football teams clash. We need to make sure we take care of our business and do whatever is needed to earn another win at Ellis Field. I hope you will be there to support the team in Full Voice!
Aggie Attack produces 2 “SEC Offensive Players of the Week” in a row!
Congratulations to Cienna Arrieta and Ally Watt on being named SEC Offensive Player of the Week in consecutive weeks. Cienna was named Player of the Week after scoring great goals against Florida and Mizzou. Ally is the reigning Player of the Week after scoring two great goals in the 2-1 win over Arkansas!
Thursday is Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night at Ellis Field
Thanks again for your support of the team. This Thursday will be TAMU faculty & Staff Appreciation Night at Ellis Field, where we will be paying special thanks and recognition to those great families who do so much to impact the college experience of our players and fans.
Thanks and gig ‘em!