Match Preview: NCAA Championship First Round vs. Lamar

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies embark on their 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship as they host the Lamar Cardinals in a match Friday evening at Ellis Field. First kick is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Due to the kindness of the Aggie Soccer Club, Texas A&M students and kids 18-and-under will receive free admission to Friday evening's contest.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.12thMan.com/tickets, in person at the Zone at Kyle Field box office, or over the phone at 1-888-99-AGGIE during regular business hours.

The Aggies earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship with their 2-1 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament championship match. The Maroon & White enter play with a 17-2-1 overall record and a school-record 13-match win streak.

Both squads enter the match on lengthy win streaks. Along with the Aggies’ aforementioned 13-match streak, Lamar is winner of a school-record 12 straight matches.

The Cardinals enter play with an 18-3-1 overall mark and a 12-match win streak. Lamar won the Southland Conference regular-season title with a 10-1-0 mark and completed the double with victories over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1-0), Central Arkansas (2-1) and Stephen F. Austin (2-0) at the league tournament.

Lamar is playing in its first NCAA Championship. The Cardinals, who went from worst to first in the Southland this season, began play in 2007. This marks just their third winning season and second campaign with double digits in the win column. Prior to this year, the best season came in 2012 when Lamar finished 11-9-1 overall and 6-2-0 in the Southland Conference.

This marks the Aggies’ first-ever meeting against the Cardinals.

Texas A&M owns a 10-game NCAA Championship win streak at Ellis Field with the last postseason home loss coming in 2007. The last Ellis Field tournament win came in 2015 when the Aggies bested Washington, 2-1, in a first round game en route to their sixth Elite Eight.

The Aggies are playing in their 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship, one of five teams to play in each tournament since 1995. The other schools to make it to every tournament since 1995 are North Carolina (1982-2016), Notre Dame (1993-2016), Virginia (1994-2016) and Penn State (1995-2016). A&M is 34-21-6 (.607) all-time in the NCAA Championship. The Aggies have appeared in the Sweet Sixteen 14 times. The Maroon and White have advanced to the Elite Eight six times, including two of the last two three seasons. The Aggies made their first College Cup appearance in 2014.

Texas A&M has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship in each of their last 19 appearances. It marks the third-longest active streak behind only North Carolina (35) and Virginia (23). The Maroon and White have gone 17-0-2 during the span, advancing on PKs in 2003 (vs. SMU) and 2010 (vs. North Dakota State).

Aggie head coach G Guerrieri and North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance are the only two coaches to appear in every NCAA Championship since 1995.

The winner of the match will play either Notre Dame or IUPUI next Friday, Nov. 17. If the Aggies win, they would host both second and third round action at Ellis Field next weekend.