Aggies host Mexico U20 National Team on Thursday

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Brazos Valley soccer fans will be offered a unique treat Thursday evening as the Texas A&M Aggies host the Mexico Under-20 Women’s National Team at Ellis Field.

First kick is slated for 8 p.m. and the contest will be free to spectators.

Mexico’s U20s are spending the week training in College Station and have three exhibition matches slated during their stay. El Tri topped Stephen F. Austin, 3-1, Tuesday evening.

Featuring Aggie rising sophomore Jimena López, the Mexican side is preparing for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, slated for Aug. 5-24 in the Brittany region of France.

López starred for El Tri as they bested the United States in a penalty kick shootout, 4-2, to claim the title at the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association of Football (CONCACAF) U-20 Championship in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago, in January. Lopez was recognized for stellar play at the tournament by being named to the Gold Cup Best XI by the Technical Study Group, identified as the championship’s top left back. In Mexico’s five matches at the tournament, she played 485 of 510 minutes, tallying one goal and one assist. López was also successful on a penalty kick in both of Mexico’s shootouts.

Fans attending the match will get a full preview of the 2018 squad with early enrollees Kendall Bates, Jordan Burbank, Macie Kolb, Karlina Sample and Tera Ziemer already in Aggieland.

Most recently, the Aggies played the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League last Friday. The Maroon & White played the Dash evenly for the first 87 minutes, before Houston’s Caity Heap scored in the waning moments of the 1-0 defeat. Texas A&M was successful in their spring debut, topping Rice, 1-0, and Lamar, 5-0, Saturday evening at Ellis Field. Ally Watt led the attack with three goals in the two 60-minute contests.

The Aggies wrapped up the 2017 season with a program-best record of 18-2-2 and an SEC Tournament Championship. The Maroon & White earned a bid to their 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship and advanced to the second round of the tournament for the 20th straight season.

Texas A&M returns 16 letterwinners from the 2017 campaign, including nine players who started at least 50 percent of last season's 22 matches. The returnees account for 34 of the Aggies' 46 goals from last season. Texas A&M welcomes back All-SEC performers Watt and Kendall Ritchie. Other key returnees include SEC All-Freshman Addie McCain, Texas A&M Defensive MVP Briana Alston and starting goalkeeper Cosette Morché.

Thursday is the third of five playing dates for the Aggies at Ellis Field. The spring slate wraps up with home matches against TCU on March 24 and the University of Houston on March 30.