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SEC Tournament Semifinal Preview: Vanderbilt

The Maroon & White enter the fray on a seven-match win streak in which they have outscored opponents, 15-3.
Credit: KAGS-TV

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — The No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies play for their fifth trip to the SEC Soccer Tournament championship match Thursday when they battle the Vanderbilt Commodores in an 8:30 p.m. contest at Orange Beach Sportsplex.


The game airs on SEC Network with Mike Watts (play-by-play), Cat Whitehill (color) and Jillian Loyden (color) on the call. Fans may listen to the match worldwide on 12thMan.com/live and the 12th Man Mobile App. In the Brazos Valley, the match airs on 97.3 FM.

 

The Maroon & White enter the fray on a seven-match win streak in which they have outscored opponents, 15-3. It marks the Aggies’ longest win streak since a 10-game run to start the 2018 campaign. Texas A&M boasts SEC Co-Coach of the Year G Guerrieri, SEC Midfielder of the Year Addie McCain, SEC Co-Defenders of the Year Jimena Lopez and Karlina Sample and SEC Freshman of the Year Barbara Olivieri.

 

Texas A&M has a tradition of success at conference tournaments with eight crowns, including SEC Tournament titles in 2013, ’14 and ’17. The Aggies own an overall mark of 37-15-14 (.667) in league tournaments.

 

Since the 2012 season when Texas A&M joined the SEC, the Maroon & White have the most shutouts in the SEC Tournament with nine. Florida and Arkansas are next on the list with seven clean sheets. Texas A&M and Florida share the league lead for wins at the tournament since 2012 with 14.

 

The Aggies are the most balanced team in the SEC in terms of offense and defense. Texas A&M is the only squad to rank in the top three in both goals scored per match and goals-against average. The Maroon & White lead the league with a 0.56 goals-against average and they rank second in goals per game (2.11).

 

Texas A&M has played with a lead for 56.9 percent of the 2020-21 campaign. The Aggies have owned the lead for nearly 461 of the 810 minutes. The Maroon & White has trailed 9.8 percent of the season, a shade over 79 minutes, all in the match at Arkansas.

 

The Commodores enter the semifinal round with one of the SEC’s hottest offenses. After scoring three goals in a season-opening win against Kentucky, Vanderbilt scratched out just eight goals in their next seven games as they spun their wheels to a 4-4-0 record in regular-season SEC action. But the Commodores have responded with four goals in each of their first two matches at the SEC Tournament, including a 4-0 win over Mississippi State in the second round on Sunday and a 4-2 victory over Tennessee in quarterfinal action Tuesday.

 

The Aggies are 9-1-0 all-time against the Commodores, including 6-1-0 as SEC brethren. This marks their first meeting at the SEC Tournament. Vanderbilt’s lone win in the series came in 2016 with a 2-0 win in Nashville. The first meeting came in 1995 when the Maroon & White notched a 4-2 win in College Station. In their most recent meeting, the Aggies outlasted the Commodores in double overtime, 2-1, in Nashville. Vanderbilt’s Haley Hopkins scored in the 38th minute. The Aggies tied the match in the 73rd minute with a penalty kick by Ally Watt. Watt scored the game winner with 53 seconds remaining in the second overtime period on an assist from Ali Russell.

 

The Texas A&M Soccer’s uniforms will feature a special patch that will be worn by all Aggies sport teams for the 2020-21 school year. The Aggies will wear a 2 ¼-inch black patch emblazoned with the word: UNIFIED. Texas A&M's student-athletes collectively determined the patch message, and released a statement on why they chose UNIFIED.