No. 8 A&M Returns To Action Against N0. 16 California

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COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 8 Texas A&M soccer team returns to action Friday at the Aggie Soccer Stadium after an 11-day hiatus. Hurrican Ike forced the cancellation of last weekend’s match against Princeton and the Aggies remain 5-1-0 before kicking off against No. 16 California at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, A&M travels to Houston to face Rice in its third road contest. Game time is set for noon.

A&M had its first away game on Sept. 5, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hawthorne Suites Invitational hosted by Virginia Tech. The Aggies handled the Hokies, 2-1, on Friday before facing their second ranked opponent in No. 17 Wake Forest on Sunday. A&M proved the tougher team, earning its second win on the road and first against a ranked opponent this season.

Junior Cydne Currie scored two goals on the weekend to lead the offense, while sophomore Kelly Dyer had a career-high performance with eight saves between the posts against Tech.

Sophomore Inge Harding scored her first goal of the year against the Hokies and freshman Becca Herrera added an assist in each contest.

Live video, audio and stats are available for the California game on AggieAthletics.com. The match against Rice will have live audio and stats online and will be televised by CBS College Sports.

TELEVISION ON SUNDAY

CBS College Sports will air Sunday’s game against Rice with broadcasters Ann Schatz and Tammy Blackburn calling the action. The match is televised on channel 123 on Suddenlink cable in the Bryan/College Station area, channel 106 on Comcast in the Houston area, as well as channel 613 on DirecTV and channel 152 on Dish Network.

ROBINSON SELECTED AS CANDIDATE FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD

Laura Grace Robinson was one of 30 female senior student-athletes selected as a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The Houston, Texas, product qualified based her dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. She is one of two student-athletes chosen from the Big 12. Ten finalists are chosen for the award in October, with the winner being announced during the 2008 Division I Women’s Soccer Championships in Cary, N.C., December 5-7.

MAUTZ TO ATTEND U-20 CAMP

Sophomore Alyssa Mautz was chosen to attend an Under-20 Women’s World Cup training camp in Sunrise, Fla. Mautz is one of 21 players selected and may be chosen as a final addition to the World Cup roster.

A&M IN THE POLLS

Aggie soccer continues to climb in the polls with its highest ranking this year at No. 8 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. With a week off of competition from Hurricane Ike, A&M jumped two spots in the poll from No. 10. The Aggies also moved up one spot in the Soccer America poll.

A&M RANKS 5TH-BEST SCORING OFFENSE IN THE NATION

The Aggies rank as the 5th-best scoring offense in the nation with 3.67 goals scored per game. A&M stands ahead of Big 12 schools Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas, No. 20 Colorado, No. 7 Texas and Iowa State. The Ags’ 5-1-0 record ranks 31st. Shipley is positioned 27th individually for assists per game (0.67).

IN THE BIG 12

A&M is ranked second in the league in the following categories: goals (22), assists (16), points (60), goals per game (3.67) and assists per game (2.67). Shipley has the second most assists (4) in the Big 12 and is second with 0.67 assists per game. Cydne Currie is second with two game-winning goals while Kelly Dyer boasts the second-best save percentage (.818).

BIG 12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

In three weeks of competition, Aggie soccer has had three Big 12 Offensive Players of the Week and has had two players named to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week. Most recently, Cydne Currie was honored by the league and Soccer Buzz on Sept. 9. Amber Gnatzig earned player of the week and was selected to the Elite Team on Sept. 2, while Shipley was the first Aggie to receive the league award this year on Aug. 26.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA

No. 16 Cal (5-1-0) boasts the same record as the Aggies and is on a four-game winning streak after earning W’s in both its contests last weekend. The Bears defeated Northridge, 1-0, in overtime, and Boise State, 2-0. Sophomore Lisa Kevorkian is the main scoring threat with a team-high six goals and 13 points. She is followed by Alex Morgan with four goals and three assists. Cal is in for treat when they play in front of the 12th Man Friday night, as the largest crowd it has played in front of this season is 428. Head coach Neil McGuire is in his second season at the helm of the Bears with a 15-5-1 record last year.

VERSUS THE BEARS

The all-time series is tied 1-1 against Cal. The two teams faced each other in 2001 and 2002, with A&M taking the Bears 3-1 the first year and Cal coming back for a 1-0 victory in ’02. Cal has never played the Aggies at home.

SCOUTING RICE

The Owls are 3-2-0 after Hurricane Ike forced the cancellation of its match last Sunday against Princeton. Anne Candee leads Rice’s attack with four goals, while Erin Scott and Shelley Wong have two goals apiece. The Owls split contests against Big 12 schools Oklahoma State (L, 4-0) and Oklahoma (W, 1-0) earlier this season. Chris Huston is in her eight season as head coach with a record of 72-55-10 at Rice.

VERSUS THE OWLS

A&M leads the series 2-0 with a 2-1 victory in 2002 and a 6-0 shutout last year against Rice. The Aggies play the Owls in Houston for the first time on Sunday. In the 2007 win, Nicole Ketchum and Robinson each contributed goals, while Rachel Shipley, Amber Gnatzig and Micah Stephens added assists.

AGGIE NICKY ADAMS IS ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH AT RICE

Former Texas A&M soccer player, Nicky Adams (Thrasher) is in her sixth season as the associate head coach of the Rice women’s soccer team. As a member of the A&M teams that won the Big 12 championship in 1997 and Big 12 Tournament titles in `97 and 2001, Adams finished her career near the top of virtually every Aggie offensive category. One of A&M's most decorated players of all time, the El Paso native ranks fourth in career points (140), third in goals (57) and eighth in assists (26) for the Aggies, and her 391 shots rank as the most in Texas A&M history. Adams graduated from Texas A&M in 2001 with a B.S. in kinesiology.

WAKE FOREST RECAP

Sophomore Inge Harding and Cydne Currie each netted goals to lead the Aggies past No. 17 Wake Forest, 2-1, on Sept. 7. A&M handed the Demon Deacons (4-1-0) their first loss of the season and its two scores doubled the amount of goals the Wake Forest defense allowed all season.

VIRGINIA TECH RECAP

Sophomore Kelly Dyer tallied a career-high eight saves and Robinson scored the game-winning goal as the Aggies defeated Virginia Tech, 3-1, on Sept. 5. Cydne Currie got A&M out to a 1-0 lead with her third goal of the year in the first half.

THE OFFENSIVE NUMBERS

The Ags have better numbers than their opponents in almost every offensive category. A&M more than doubles its challengers in goals (22-8) and nearly doubles its foes’ shots (116-62) and shots on goal (59-33).

THE 12TH MAN

The Aggie Soccer Stadium is averaging a crowd of 4,384 per game. With more than 6,700 attending the home opener, A&M now holds the top two spots for the highest regular season attendance in the nation.

SHIPLEY LEADS THE WAY

After four games, Shipley leads the way with 10 points, including three goals and four assists. Currie is second with eight points (four goals), followed by Robinson (six points) Gnatzig and Kmezich (five points each).



 
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