GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Texas A&M soccer team rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Gators delivering head coach G Guerrieri his 500th win. Thursday’s triumph at Dizney Stadium also sealed an SEC Tournament spot for the Aggies.
Guerrieri became the fifth NCAA Division I women’s soccer coach to reach the 500-win plateau and among active coaches on the level he trails only North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance and Santa Clara’s Jerry Smith. Guerrieri is the 10th NCAA women’s soccer coach in any of the three levels to reach the milestone.
Maile Hayes broke the scoring seal in the fifth minute for Texas A&M. Fellow sophomores Macy Matula and Mia Pante also tacked on goals in the first half as the Aggies led 3-0 at the intermission.
Florida showed signs of life with a goal in the 69th minute, but 64 seconds later Hayes scored her second goal of the contest to push the lead back out to three goals.
Hayes finished the match with two goals and one assist. In the last six matches, she has 17 points with seven goals and three assists.
The Aggies entered the contest needing help to receive the SEC Tournament bid. About an hour after Texas A&M finished their match, South Carolina topped Missouri, 2-0, and LSU beat Ole Miss, 4-1, to give the Maroon & White the No. 9 seed in the 10-team SEC Tournament.
5′ – Kate Colvin rifled a shot from inside the right corner of the penalty box. The shot caromed off a Florida defender to MaKhiya McDonald who sent a volley goalward where it was redirected into the net by Maile Hayes. A&M 1, UF 0
12′ – Kenna Caldwell sent a free kick in from 45 yards out. The offering grazed the head of Hayes as it cleared the backline and Macy Matula cleaned it up from 2 yards out for the goal. A&M 2, UF 0
28′ – Mia Pante evaded two defenders as she went on the dribble from the left touchline across to the top of the arc before threading a right-footed shot through two defenders and between the left post and a diving keeper. A&M 3, UF 0
68′ – Delaney Tauzel sent a perfect corner kick in from the left side. Madison Young got her head on the end of it inside the 6-yard box. A&M 3, UF 1
69′ – Sydney Becerra lobbed in a pass from outside the right corner of the penalty box. Hayes collected the service seven yards out, spun and fired a shot inside the right post. A&M 4, UF 1
The Aggies begin play at the SEC Tournament Sunday in Pensacola. Texas A&M battles Mississippi State in a 3:30 p.m. match at Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex.
Comments from head coach G Guerrieri, graduate defender Karlina Sample and sophomore forward Maile Hayes are on 12thMan.com
Story by Thomas Dick, Texas A&M Athletics Communications