COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Six different Aggies scored goals and all 24 able players saw action Sunday evening as the 10th-ranked Texas A&M soccer team blanked McNeese State, 9-0, in front of 2,792 fans at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.
Junior Cydne Currie (2), freshman Jennifer Kmezich (2), senior Laura Grace Robinson, sophomore Rachel Shipley and freshmen Shawn-tae Greene and Bri Young each tallied a goal as A&M improved to 2-0 on the season. The Aggies dominated possession throughout the match, keeping play in its attacking third, and creating and capitalizing on multiple scoring opportunities. The Aggies outshot the Cowgirls (0-1) 33-3 and took eight corner kicks to their opponents’ three.
The Aggie attack forced McNeese to make 11 saves while junior Kristin Arnold, sophomore Kelly Dyer and redshirt freshman Sarah Pierson combined for their first shutout of the season.
“This was a nice opening weekend for us,” said head coach G Guerrieri. “McNeese came in and played great. They are a very well-coached and organized team. The biggest issue for us tonight was that our players were more relaxed. So many of our players’ first college game was in Friday's win over Rhode Island in front of the second-largest regular season crowd in NCAA soccer history - which can be quite a shock to a young player’s system. On the flip-side, that's part of what happened to McNeese tonight."
Shipley was spectacular in the opening period as the sophomore had a foot in three of the Aggies four first-half goals during a three-minute span.
In the 16th minute, Shipley lobbed a pass into the box from the left side where Cydne Currie headed the ball high into the goal over the Cowgirl keeper. In the 17th minute, freshman Beth West dribbled through the defense and slid a pass to Shipley who was waiting in front of the goal. Shipley poked the ball into the lower left-side netting for her second goal of the season putting the Aggies ahead 2-0.
Shipley factored into the scoring again, just over a minute later, when she sent a corner kick into the penalty area that Robinson was able to head into the back of the net.
A misclear by the Cowgirl defense in the game’s 42nd minute went over the head of keeper Cassandra Read resulting in an own goal, giving A&M the 4-0 advantage heading into the locker room at halftime.
The Aggies came out strong the in the second half putting heavy pressure on McNeese State’s defense and firing off 19 shots while holding the Cowgirls to just one.
Young scored the first of three freshman goals on the evening just five minutes into the second period. Freshman Carly Wohlers sent a corner kick into the box that the Cowgirls were unable to clear. Young found herself open with the ball at her feet and fired a hard shot from point blank range past a diving Read.
Currie picked up her second goal of the night in the game’s 71st minute. Freshman Becca Herrera was able to escape defensive pressure on the left flank and dished a pass to Currie who rocketed a shot into the upper right ’90, putting A&M on top 6-0.
Greene scored her first collegiate goal in the 85th minute on a breakaway as she took the McNeese keeper one-on-one. Read came out of the box in an attempt to cut down the angle, but Greene lined a shot into the right-side netting.
Kmezich rounded out A&M’s scoring with a pair of goals just a minute apart. The Larkspur, Colo., product took advantage of space between her and a Cowgirl defender just outside the penalty area near the Aggies’ bench. Kmezich drove a shot that rolled under the fingertips of Read and into the goal.
Kmezich found the back of the net again on a ball that was played across and intended for Greene who was coming on. Kmezich’s pass had just enough on it to beat the keeper and roll into the lower left side netting to give the Aggies’ their ninth goal of the evening.
A&M returns to the Aggie Soccer Stadium on Friday, Aug. 29 to take on No. 3 North Carolina at 6 p.m.