Texas A&M will head into its Southeastern Conference schedule with a perfect record and the confidence it brings after putting away William & Mary 2-0 on Sunday at Ellis Field.
The No. 5 Aggies bettered their mark to 8-0-0 with an own goal in the opening half and Ally Watt’s seventh goal with 7 minutes remaining.
“We feel confident, and being 8-0 is exactly where we want to be,” A&M coach G. Guerrieri said. “And we’ve been able to use a lot of different people in a few different roles so we feel good about how we can adjust to really good athletic teams in the SEC, like LSU (A&M’s first opponent) is going to put out.”
William & Mary dropped to 3-4 in a match that A&M controlled throughout but was unable to put away in part because of the goalkeeping of Katelyn Briguglio, who came up big on numerous occasions when the Aggies broke free in the penalty box.
“Their goalkeeper, she made, I’m thinking, four breakaway saves that she made that were difficult saves,” Guerrieri said. “A couple we hit her in the hands with, but she made four big saves to keep the game close, so we needed one [goal] late.”
Watt’s goal was set up by a through ball by freshman Asdis Halldorsdottir after Kendall Ritchie slotted the ball forward. Watt had her streak of scoring in five straight matches end in A&M’s 2-1 victory Friday over Colorado College. But she left little doubt in starting a new one with her shot along the ground from 15 yards that found the far-side netting.
A&M played without attacking midfielder Emily Bates, who is nursing a thigh injury. Sophomore Addie McCain moved over to the role and set up many of the 1-on-1 opportunities the Aggie strikers had.
“It’s difficult because she is not a player that is easily replaceable, so the mindset is just to get in there and do the things that I do well,” McCain said. “We are different types of players. I felt like my passes were on today, and we just didn’t quite connect as well as we could have, and I think the more consistently I can play those balls, the more Ally will be able to get on the end of those.”
The own goal came off of the Tribe keeper on a corner kick by Ritchie in the 18th minute.
A&M hosts LSU on Friday, then takes on Big 12 foe Kansas on Sunday before playing strictly SEC games the rest of the regular season.
“I feel really good [about where we are],” McCain said. “I know we haven’t reached our full potential, which is a cool thing and we’ve been winning, 8-0. We’ve seen what we can do, and the goal is to do that every single game.”