Equestrian Team Improves to 5-0 with SMU Win

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DALLAS - The Texas A&M equestrian team improved to 5-0 on the season thanks to an 8-3 win by its hunter seat riders over SMU at Park Lane Equestrian Center on Friday.

The Aggies turned in yet another impressive performance in equitation on the flat to break a 3-3 deadlock after the fences competition.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the progress the hunter seat team has made since last year,” A&M hunter seat coach Linzy Woolf said. “I feel like the flat riders are becoming more confident and comfortable with the varsity flat format. This was our first road show of the season, and I’m really pleased with how well all of the riders mentally approached riding a new group of horses none of us had ever seen before.”

The flat riders, which proved to be the difference against Georgia two weeks earlier, were the difference again versus the Mustangs. A&M closed the show by winning five of the six equitation on the flat matches to cruise in for the 8-3 win.

The Aggies were led by senior co-captain Viviana Cordero (Sunland, Calif.) who turned in the highest score of her collegiate career on Friday. Cordero was awarded flat MVP honors for her 86-75 win over SMU sophomore Maia Van Dyke.

Junior Christina Matz (McKinney) produced the biggest win from a point spread standpoint, topping SMU junior Haley Hyland on the flat, 79-50.

Senior Lindsey Lawrence (College Station) was also a big winner, earning a 67-46 flat win over Laura Ratliff, to run her seasonal record to an impressive 5-0.

Sophomore Brittney Dodson (Amarillo) continued her strong second year by improving to 4-1 on the flat with a 76-59 win over SMU freshman Keeya Jones.

Senior Ashlie Soderstrom (Lake Oswego, Ore.) squeezed out a 62-61 flat win over the Mustangs’ Amanda Vining to run her record to 3-2 on the year.

The Aggies rode their way to a 3-3 split over fences. Senior Katie Henion (Austin) and sophomore Kristi Waldal (Battle Ground, Wash.) both improved to 4-1 this season with fences wins. Henion beat SMU sophomore Melissa Kowalchik, 75-70, while Waldal defeated freshman Katherine Wilson, 80-70.

Junior Erin Ivy (Cypress) got back on the winning track over fences with a 79-76 win over Mustang sophomore Kristen Collins.

The Mustangs were also penalized a single point due to a rulebook violation a week earlier. SMU failed to provide Texas A&M with the rider test patterns by the mandatory rulebook-enforced deadline last week. The rule states that the host team shall be penalized one point for each day the patterns were late. Though the Aggies’ did not receive the patterns until several days after the deadline, the A&M staff elected to only penalize SMU a single point.

Texas A&M will hit the road next weekend once again with competitions at Kansas State on Friday, Nov. 9, and Oklahoma State on Saturday Nov. 10.