No. 3 Soccer Opens Conference Play at No. 16 Missouri

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COLLEGE STATION -- The 3rd-ranked Texas A&M soccer team will look to defend its three-consecutive Big 12 regular season titles when it opens league play on the road Friday in Columbia, Mo. taking on the 16th-ranked Missouri Tigers. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Walton Stadium.

“We are obviously very excited about getting started with Big 12 play and defending our back-to-back-to-back conference championships,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “We also know that all of our opponents will be ready and motivated to knock us off, so we’ll have to play our best soccer of the year to get a result, especially against a team as talented and dangerous as Missouri. They are having a fantastic season and have always hosted a major battle with us in their stadium and we expect the same this Friday evening.”

The Tigers completed the non-conference portion of their ’07 schedule with a 6-2-0 record. Mizzou picked up a pair of home wins last weekend over then No. 19 Cal and TCU. MU blanked Cal, 4-0, on Friday. Freshman forward Alysha Bonnick scored two goals on the night, totaling five on the season. Five different Tigers netted goals in Mizzou’s 6-2 win over TCU on Sunday. Freshman forward Katya Hessel scored the game’s first two goals which served as the first of her Tiger career. Junior defender Kat Tarr also scored her first career goal on a penalty kick in the second half. Sophomore forwards Michelle Collins and Kristin Andrighetto each scored their seventh on the year and Bonnick added one, bringing her season total to six.

Andrighetto, a Pleasant Hill, Calif. native, was named to the Soccer America Women's Team of the Week, after scoring two goals and adding three assists. One of which, came on Bonnick’s second game-winning goal of the weekend. Bonnick was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for her performance in the two wins. The native of North Gower, Ontario netted three goals and dished out an assist. She was also selected to the Soccer Buzz National Elite Team of the Week.

The Aggies boast a record of 6-1-1, 0-0-0 in league play coming into Friday’s game. A&M logged a pair of shutouts last weekend at the Aggie Soccer Stadium. A&M defeated a couple of competitive Conference USA sides Tulsa and Rice, 3-0 and 6-0, respectively. Four different Aggies factored in on the scoring action. All-American forward Ashlee Pistorius netted four goals on the weekend, bringing her season total to a league-leading eight. Senior captain Melissa Garey (3) and sophomore defender Nicole Ketchum (2) added two goals each. Junior midfielder Laura Grace Robinson rounded out the scoring with her second goal of the season.

Garey moved to sixth all-time in career goals scored after her performance over the weekend. The Gonzales, La. native shares the honor with Kristen Strutz, who started all 93 games she played in for the Aggies from 2000-2003.

Pistorius was selected as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week after tallying four goals and assist on the weekend. The Bloomington, Ill. native ranks second in the Big 12 career standings for goals scored (65) and is 14 away from tying the Aggie all-time record.

Friday’s game marks the 13th meeting between the two teams. A&M holds the all-time advantage at 10-2-0 after defeating the Tigers last year, 4-2, at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.