Aggies Blank North Texas, 1-0, in Exhibition Action
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 9 Texas A&M soccer team opened its spring portion of the 2020-21 season with a 1-0 exhibition victory over the North Texas Mean Green Saturday evening at Ellis Field.
Barbara Olivieri scored the lone goal of the match in the 16th minute when she sent a free kick in from 22 yards out near the left corner of the penalty box.
With the wind behind their back, the Mean Green applied pressure in the opening 15 minutes, but Aggie goalkeeper Kenna Caldwell recorded three saves to keep the terms even.
Caldwell held off a relentless attack from the Mean Green as the sophomore recorded five more saves in the second half for a total of eight on the night in the shutout.
The Aggies threatened with 10 minutes left when freshman Kate Colvin missed to the left from just inside the 18-yard box.
Texas A&M played without the services of starters All-SEC Co-Defender of the Year Karlina Sample and midfielder Taylor Ziemer. Nine Aggies played the full 90 minutes.
16′ – Olivieri rifled a free kick 22-yards out that found the upper left 90.
The Aggies hit the road for a 5 p.m. contest against the Baylor Bears next Saturday at the Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On their offensive performance…
“Today is a good day for us to build upon. To be able to get the spring started and for us to throw out a really young lineup was going to be tested against a really good North Texas team. Coming out with a win is a good way to go. I thought North Texas was super, especially when they had the wind at their back. They really put a lot of pressure on us, gave us a lot of problems as far as coming out.
On Barbara Olivieri…
“The goal that Barbara [Olivieri] scored was world-class. That is the type of player that she is, I thought she showed her class the entire game. She was one we were able to lean upon in the middle of the field to get our middle attack going and keep possession of the ball.
On the defense…
I thought our defense was super solid today. Kenna [Caldwell] with some super saves, really good communication amongst our back line. Especially our two captains [Katie] Smith and [Kendall] Bates there on the back line, I thought they were solid even though they were put under a lot of pressure. This is something we can defiantly look at, we came in to today knowing we wanted to get better as we keep moving forward. We will have another exhibition game next week and hopefully keep improving as we get ready for the games that are going to count in a few weeks.”
On the difference between the second half and the first...
“We took the wind. Pure and simple. In women’s soccer if you have a wind over 12 mph it’s going to have an impact on the match. I think UNT does a great job of putting pressure on it. They have recruited some great athletes on to the North Texas side. We just could not get out of our half because you’re playing against that, plus you are playing against the wind. It just gave us that much more trouble. That’s what I thought that our offense was super solid. I thought Kenna [Caldwell] had one of her best games yet and again something she keeps improving on all the time.”
Freshman midfielder Barbara Olivieri
On the impact of this week’s weather on the team’s play today…
“You could definitely tell. I feel like the team was a little rusty. We haven’t played as a team for a week. It wasn’t our best performance for sure, but we kept the 1-0 lead, so I thought second half we did a lot better pressing the other team, which we didn’t do very well in the first half.”
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