Aggies needs win over Missouri to guarantee season continues

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Missouri – The Texas A&M Aggies close out the 2021 regular-season slate Thursday with a road match against the Missouri Tigers. Match time at Walton Stadium is 6 p.m.

The Aggies enter play with their SEC Tournament hopes in the balance. With a victory, the Maroon & White secure a spot in the 10-team tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama. If Thursday’s result is a loss or draw, the Aggies need outside assistance to get into the postseason.

Texas has seven players with six or more points on the season, all of which are freshmen or sophomores. The rookies on the list are Maile Hayes (19), Mia Pante (10) and Natalie Abel (8). The second-year players are Barbara Olivieri (13), Kate Colvin (9), Taylor Pounds (6) and Lauren Geczik (6).

The Aggies’ offense is spearheaded by the freshman class. Thirteen of A&M’s 31 goals (41.9 percent) have been scored by their rookies. Hayes leads the charge with a team-high seven goals. Abel and Carissa Boeckmann have added two apiece and Makhiya McDonald and Pante have chipped in one each.

The freshmen have also contributed 22 of the team’s 36 assists (61.1 percent). Pante has a team-high eight assists and Hayes has added five. Abel has posted four assists while Matula and McDonald have logged two each.

The match airs on SEC Network+ with Nate Gatter and Simon Rose on the call. Fans may listen to the match in the Brazos Valley on 97.3 FM and worldwide on the 12th Man Mobile app and on with David Ellis delivering the commentary.

The Aggies and Tigers have met 26 times with the Maroon & White owning an 18-5-3 edge in the all-time series. Texas A&M has an eight-match unbeaten string in the series going 6-0-2 since a 2011 Big 12 Tournament meeting.

The Aggies have experienced a scoring explosion in the last three contests, outscoring Missouri 17-5 over the span, including two Ally Watt hat tricks. Watt scored four goals in a 5-3 win over the Tigers in the 2019 regular-season finale at Ellis Field. Watt also found the back of the net four times in a 2017 SEC Tournament matchup as the Maroon & White prevailed 7-1.