COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The 21st season of Texas A&M Soccer kicks off in grand fashion as the No. 12 Aggies host the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils at Ellis Field on Friday evening.
With both teams returning seven starters from their 2012 campaign, they are highly regarded for the 2013 season. Duke was ranked No. 7 coming off the heels of their 15-6-2 season that saw the Blue Devils advance to the Elite Eight. Texas A&M was slotted at No. 12 following a 19-5-1 year that included an SEC Western Division title and a Sweet 16 appearance.
In addition to being recognized as two of the best teams in the country, Texas A&M and Duke have been recognized as having some of the best individual talent in the nation. In the most recent TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 100 the Aggies and Blue Devils were two of just eight teams to have four or more players listed. A&M was represented by four players, including midfielder/defender Meghan Streight (No. 32), forward Annie Kunz (No. 33), goalkeeper Jordan Day (No. 63) and defender Rachel Lenz (No. 68). Duke had five players named to the list, including defender Natasha Anasi (No. 16), forward Laura Weinberg (No. 19), forward Mollie Pathman (No. 30), defender Kim DeCesare (No. 36) and midfielder Cassie Pecht (No. 43).
This marks the third time in the last five seasons that the Aggies have opened the season against a Top 10 squad at Ellis Field. In 2009 A&M toppled No. 9 USC, 3-0, and in 2010 the Maroon and White dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 1 North Carolina.
Texas A&M owns a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series, but 10 juniors and one senior on the current squad will be looking to avenge a 7-2 loss to the Blue Devils in 2011. The meeting two years ago was knotted at 2-2 at the intermission with goals by Allie Bailey and Megan Majewski in the final five minutes of the half, but the Blue Devils Mollie Pathman notched a go-ahead score 50 seconds into the second half and never looked back.
#12 TEXAS A&M VS. #7 DUKE
Friday, August 23, 2013 | 7:30 p.m.
Ellis Field | College Station, Texas
Audio: RadioAggieland app/AggieAthletics.com/88.1 FM (In-stadium only)
Live Stats: AggieAthletics.com
In-Game Updates: Twitter.com/AggieSoccer
FRIDAY VS. DUKE
- Fish Camp Night: free admission with Fish Camp t-shirt
The Aggies continue their eight-game homestand with a non-conference match against the Arizona State Sun Devils at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
Season and individual tickets for the 2013 home season are now for sale. To purchase tickets, please contact the 12th Man Foundation Ticket Center at tickets.12thmanfoundation.com, 979-845-2311 or toll free at 1-888-99-AGGIE. Tickets are also available in person beginning one hour before the match at Ellis Field.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live stats for both matches this weekend on AggieAthletics.com. Premium subscribers to 12thMan.TV can watch both games live. Every match this season will feature free live audio on RadioAggieland and AggieAthletics.com.
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WHERE ARE THE AGGIES RANKED?
In its season opening, A&M is ranked No. 12 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll, and No. 9 in the BennettRank poll. North Carolina claimed the top spot in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll, followed by Florida State, Virginia, Duke and Florida.
LAST TIME OUT - UC IRVINE
The Aggies traveled to southern California for an exhibition match against the UC- rvine Anteaters. Despite having a hefty advantage in shots (15-5), shots-on-goal (7-2) and corner kicks (10-3), the Aggies were unable to find the back of the net, playing the Anteaters to a 0-0 draw. Goalkeepers Jordan Day and Renee McDermott combined for the shutout, with each making a save in the 90 minutes of action. Annie Kunz led the offensive assault for the Maroon and White with four shots, three of which were on-goal while Shea Groom and Kelley Monogue each tallied three shots in the draw.
With the 2013 No. 12 preseason ranking, A&M has been in the preseason national top 15 every year for 18 consecutive seasons. The Aggies have also consistently appeared in top 25 polls for the past 17 years.
ELLIS FIELD ADVANTAGE
Texas A&M owns a 188-27-5 (.866) all-time record at Ellis Field (formerly Aggie Soccer Stadium). The Maroon and White have called the field home since the 1994 season, playing the inaugural 1993 season at Old Tiger Field. Since 2005, the Aggies have registered a 77-10-6 mark on the friendly pitch.
LONE STAR DOMINANCE
Since the 2008 season, the Aggies own a 18-0-3 mark against in-state rivals, including an 11-0-3 record against their former Big 12 Conference colleagues. A&M went a perfect 2-0 against in-state foes in 2012, winning the two games by a combined 3-0 margin. The Aggies play UTSA who they defeated 2-0 on Aug. 25, 2012, and Baylor who they dueled to a 0-0 draw in the spring.
Duke returns 22 letterwinners and seven starters from a squad that went 15-6-2 and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2012. The Blue Devils finished sixth in the rough-and-tumble ACC and had their season ended with a 1-0 loss to Penn State with a Final Four spot on the line. Duke had five players named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 100 Players List, including defender Natasha Anasi (No. 16), forward Laura Weinberg (No. 19), forward Mollie Pathman (No. 30), defender Kim DeCesare (No. 36) and midfielder Cassie Pecht (No. 43). Anasi started 23 matches on the backline and helped Duke notch six shutouts on the season. Weinberg tallied 16 goals and 12 assists to lead the squad in scoring (44 points). Pathman logged one goal and six assists in 14 starts on the year. DeCesare ranked second on the team with 38 points on 16 goals and six assists. Pecht posted a team-high 15 assists and added six goals in 2012.
SERIES VS. DUKE
The Aggies have played the Blue Devils five times, with A&M holding the slight edge, 3-2. The last meeting between the two highly-ranked squads came in 2011 in Durham, where Duke handed the Aggies a decisive 7-2 loss. The teams met in Chapel Hill in 2007 with the Aggies registering a 2-0 win. The lone meeting in College Station occurred in 2003 with the Aggies toppling then-No. 12 Duke, 2-1. The teams had prior meetings in Dallas (1995 - Duke 2-1) and Klein, Texas (1996 - A&M 3-0).
VERSUS THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
Texas A&M is 12-20-2 all-time against members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, including a 2-6 mark against the ACC in NCAA Championship action. The Aggies are 2-13-0 all-time against North Carolina and 10-6-2 against ACC teams not named North Carolina. A&M is 1-1-0 vs. Clemson, 3-2-0 vs. Duke, 1-3-0 vs. Florida State, 1-0-1 vs. Maryland, 0-0-1 vs. North Carolina State, 1-0-0 vs. Virginia, 2-1-0 vs. Virginia Tech, 1-0-0 vs. Wake Forest.
The Roadrunners finished 3-12-2 last season, including 2-4-2 in Western Athletic Conference action. This season, UTSA will be participating in Conference USA for the first time. C-USA Western Division foes include Colorado College, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa and UTEP. The Roadrunners will also play games against three of the eight Eastern Division squads, including Charlotte, Florida Atlantic and Old Dominion. UTSA returns nine letterwinners and four starters, including midfielder Laylla da Cruz, defender Anka Grotle, defender/midfielder Charlotte Husoe and forward Kauwela Neal.
SERIES VS. UTSA
Against UTSA, Texas A&M boasts a perfect, 3-0, mark with the latest matchup coming last fall when the Aggies blanked the Roadrunners 2-0 at Ellis Field.
VERSUS CONFERENCE USA
The Aggies are currently 16-0-0 against the current membership of the ever-shifting Conference USA, including 1-0-0 vs. Colorado College, 1-0-0 vs. East Carolina, 2-0-0 vs. Florida Atlantic, 3-0-0 vs. North Texas, 3-0-0 vs. Rice, 3-0-0 vs. Tulsa and 3-0-0 vs. UTSA. Texas A&M has yet to play matches against Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, UAB and UTEP.
GUERRIERI RANKS AMONG THE NATION’S WINNINGEST COACHES
Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri ranks among the Top 10 in both winning percentage and victories among active Division I coaches. With a career record of 354-113-25 (.745), he ranks eighth in winning percentage (minimum five years as a Division I head coach) and eighth in victories, passing SMU’s Chris Petrucelli during the 2012 campaign. Guerrieri is looking to make up ground on David Lombardo (356) and John Daly (361) who stand in seventh and sixth place on the victories list, respectively. Among all coaches to ever coach Division I women’ soccer, Guerrieri ranks eighth in winning percentage (minimum 10 years as a Division I head coach) and ninth in victories.
SEC PRESEASON POLL
Texas A&M, the reigning SEC Western Division champion, was named the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference after edging out Florida (6) with eight first-place votes. The Aggies were almost a unanimous selection to again claim the Western Division throne, receiving 91 total points and 13 first-place votes. LSU came in second in points for the Western Division with 67 points and one first-place vote.
MEET THE SEC
Each of the 14 schools in Southeastern Conference (SEC) sponsor women’s soccer. The conference is split into two divisions: Eastern and Western. The Aggies, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Mississippi State comprise the SEC Western Division and Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt make up the SEC Eastern Division. The Aggies will play 11 of the 13 schools in the conference this season, beginning with Tennessee on Sept. 20 in Knoxville, Tenn. A&M plays five home SEC contests and six road SEC matches.
AGAINST THE SEC
In the 20-year history of the program, Texas A&M owns a 24-7-2 record against teams who were members of the SEC at the time and a 39-16-2 mark against current members of the SEC. The ledger includes a 14-5-1 mark against former Big 12 foe Missouri. The Aggies own winning records against Alabama (3-1), Arkansas (4-1), Auburn (1-1), Florida (4-3), Georgia (1-0), Kentucky (1-0-1), LSU (3-0), Mississippi State (1-0), Ole Miss (1-0), South Carolina (3-0) and Vanderbilt (4-0). The only SEC team Texas A&M has a losing record against is Tennessee (0-2). The Aggies have notched a win against every current school that is a member of the SEC.
BIG 12 ERA
The Aggies won their 12th-and-final Big 12 Championship during the 2011 conference tournament. With just 15 seconds left in the Championship match, Tournament MVP and then-freshman Kelley Monogue weaved through three defenders and ricocheted a shot off of the left post that found then-senior Megan Majewski at 18 yards from goal. Majewski fired with nine seconds on the clock and netted the 1-0 goal against Oklahoma State to win the tournament. The Aggies were the only school in the conference to earn a Big 12 Tournament berth in the 16 years of its existence.
SIX AGGIES ON SEC PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Senior Rachel Lenz and five of her junior teammates in Jordan Day, Shea Groom, Annie Kunz, Kelley Monogue and Meghan Streight were named to the SEC preseason watch list the conference announced in early August.
MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
Junior Meghan Streight was placed on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The award is the highest honor in collegiate soccer and will be given to a winner on Jan. 10. The field will be narrowed to 15 semifinalists in late November, and three finalists will be named in December.
TOPDRAWERSOCCER.COM SEC TOP 20 PLAYERS
The Aggies ranked No. 12 in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Preseason Rankings and placed five players on the publication’s SEC Top 20 List. Juniors Meghan Streight (No. 2), Annie Kunz (No. 3), Jordan Day (No. 5), Shea Groom (No. 17) and senior Rachel Lenz were named to the Top 20 Players to Watch list in the SEC according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The Aggies led the way with four players in the top-six and led all teams with five players named to the top-20 list.
The Aggies’ 2 1-player roster features 11 upperclassmen, four sophomores and six freshmen. A&M’s squad is guided by two seniors. The team returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from a year ago.
The Aggies returns 72.4 percent of their point production from 2012 (97 of 134), including 38 of their 48 goals and 21 of their 38 points. The biggest loss from the offense is Jayne Eadie who elected to forgo her final year of eligibility. Eadie tallied 12 points on two goals and a team-high eight assists. 2013 graduates Chelsea Jones and Beth West added seven and six points, respectively.
The leading scorers returning from last year are headlined by five juniors in double digits. Annie Kunz logged 13 goals, one assist and 27 points. Kelley Monogue tallied 10 goals for 20 points. Shea Groom logged five goals, seven assists and 17 points. Meghan Streight notched 12 points on three goals and six assists. Allie Bailey booked 10 points on four goals and two assists.
The Aggies return 188 of their 275 starts on the pitch from 2012 (68.4 percent). The bulk of lost starts were from graduated senior Lyndsey Gnatzig (25 starts) and Jayne Eadie (22). Other starts lost include Lindsey Witz (16), Beth West (13), Katie Perry (8) and Chelsea Jones (3).
Returnees Jordan Day, Rachel Lenz and Meghan Streight started all 25 matches in 2012. Other returnees to log 20 or more starts, include Allie Bailey (23) and Shea Groom (23).
The Aggies welcome six freshmen and one senior transfer this season, in Taylor Saucier (Omaha, Neb.), Liz Keester (Tulsa, Okla.), Ashlynn Harryman (Dana Point, Calif.), Ana Cruz (San Diego, Calif.), Grace Wright (College Station, Texas), Sarah Shaw (Keller, Texas) and Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (Campo de Criptana, Spain).
TENNIS STANDOUT JOINS THE SQUAD
Spanish native and former Aggie tennis standout Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar joined the squad for the 2013 season. She concluded her tennis eligibility by becoming A&M’s first two-time All-American. Sanchez-Quintanar was ranked as high as No. 3 during her senior campaign. She was also the first player in A&M history to win 40 or matches twice during a career. She went 81-15 with the Aggies and her .765 all-time winning percentage set a school record. In 2012-13, she went 41-9 overall and 27-7 against ranked opponents. As a junior, Sanchez-Quintanar went 40-6 overall, setting an A&M record for highest winning percentage in a season (.870). She transferred to A&M from Maryland where in her lone season she became the first Terp to ever advance to the NCAA round of 32.
A&M IN SEASON OPENERS
Since 1993, Texas A&M is 17-3 all-time in the first match of the year. The Aggies won 10 of their last 11 season openers with the lone loss coming to then-No. 1 North Carolina (L, 0-3) in 2010.
A&M IN HOME OPENERS
Since 1993, Texas A&M is 19-1 all-time in home openers. Fifteen of the Aggies 20 home openers also doubled as season openers with A&M going posting a 14-1 mark in those games. In the five years that the Aggies did not open the season at home (1993-94, ‘96, 2001 and ‘12), they outscored their opponents by a combined 28-3 margin when finally debuting in College Station. In 1993, A&M did not appear at home until the eighth game of the season when the Aggies handed Oral Roberts an 11-0 defeat.
OPENING THE SEASON VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
This marks the third time in the last five seasons that the Aggies have opened the season against a Top 10 squad at Ellis Field. In 2009 A&M toppled No. 9 USC, 3-0, and in 2010 the Maroon and White dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 1 North Carolina. Texas A&M is 3-2 all-time in season-opening games against ranked opponents.
9/7/2001 vs. #16 Stanford at San Marcos, Texas L, 2-4
8/27/2004 vs. #15 Michigan College Station, Texas W, 2-1
8/25/2006 vs. #3 North Carolina College Station, Texas W, 1-0 (2ot)
8/22/2009 vs. #8 USC College Station, Texas W, 3-0
8/20/2010 vs. #1 North Carolina College Station, Texas L, 0-3
SET PIECE MAGIC
Last season, the Aggies scored on a set piece at least one time in 10 of their 13 conference games this season. In SEC action, A&M logged 14 set piece goals, including four corner kicks, nine free kicks and one penalty kick. The Aggies added a goal on a set piece (a free kick) in their 4-0 win against Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M finished the 2012 campaign tied with UCF for third in NCAA Division I with 15 shutouts on the season. Marquette and Florida State led the nation with 17 shutouts on the year. A&M finished tied for seventh in shutout percentage at .600 (15 shutouts in 25 games). Marquette led the nation at .739 (16 shutouts in 23 games).
DAY SETS A&M SINGLE-SEASON SHUTOUT MARK
Last season Jordan Day set the A&M single-season shutout mark with 14, passing Ester Thompson who is listed as having 9.5 in 2001 and Melanie Wilson who is credited with 9.3 in 1999. Day also registered nine shutouts in 2011 and her 23 career shutouts rank third behind only Wilson (32.3) and Kati Jo Spisak (24.0).
In 2012, Day ranked third in the nation in goalie minutes (2271:13) and led the country with 14 shutouts. She tied the SEC school record with seven consecutive shutouts.
THE AGGIE SOCCER HOUR
This year the Aggie Soccer Hour, Texas A&M soccer’s weekly radio talk show, is broadcast live from Rudy’s Bar-B-Que on Harvey Rd. in College Station every Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. Come and be a part of the show each week, listen locally on KZNE 1150 AM or worldwide on RadioAggieland.com. Each week, Aggie soccer play-by-play announcer David Ellis will be joined by head coach G Guerrieri, associate head coach Phil Stephenson, and Aggie players.