COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Aggies rolled to a 4-1 victory over the LSU Tigers on Thursday evening to snap a four-match losing streak.
It marked the first time in nine matches that the Aggies played with top offensive threats Maile Hayes, Barbara Olivieri and Mia Pante all available at the same time.
Working her way back to 100 percent, Olivieri, who missed seven matches this season, scored the first and last goals of the game, sparking the triumph. Hayes added a goal and an assist and Kate Colvin tacked on a goal. Lauren Geczik and Pante notched assists.
Olivieri scored her first goal since August 28 when she broke the seal in the 10th minute with an assist from Geczik. Olivieri knocked in another with 2:42 left in the match for her first multi-goal game of the season.
In the first half, especially in the first 30 minutes, the Aggies applied high pressure to dictate the terms of the game. The Maroon & White owned the advantages in shots (10-6), shots-on-goal (4-1) and corner kicks (5-2).
Hayes scored on a PK in the 58th minute and Colvin added a goal in the 62nd minute as A&M mounted a 3-0 lead. LSU tallied a cosmetic goal in the 85th minute, but Olivieri closed out the match in style scoring off a pass from Pante.
After bobbing-and-weaving through LSU’s early second half charge, the Maroon & White owned the last 35 minutes of the match and posted advantages in shots (14-10), shots-on-goal (7-4) and corner kicks (5-3).
Heading into the match, the ailing Aggies succumbed to a four-match losing streak for the first time in school annals. In the 29 years of A&M soccer, the Maroon & White have lost three in a row on just five occasions in 29 seasons.
Texas A&M improved to 6-6-1 overall and 2-3-0 in SEC play. LSU dropped to 8-4-0 and 1-4 in league action. The Maroon & White remained undefeated all-time against the Bayou Bengals, moving to 12-0-1.
10 – Lauren Geczik played a long ball from the center stripe. Barbara Olivieri chested the ball down outside the penalty box and after a brief stumble ripped a left-footed shot from the left of the penalty spot. The shot hit the right post went across the face of the goal before hitting the back end of the left post and settled inside the goal. A&M 1, LSU 0.
58’ – With LSU becoming more dangerous on the offensive end, the Aggies went on the counter attack and Makhiya McDonald was tripped up on the end line outside the 6-yard box to draw the penalty. Maile Hayes took a confident and direct PK for her sixth goal of the season. A&M 2, LSU 0.
62’ – Hayes beat a defender on the end line outside the 6-yard box on the left side and sent a ball to Kate Colvin six yards left of the PK spot and Colvin blasted a left-footed shot inside the right post for her fourth goal of the season. A&M 3, LSU 0.
85’ – LSU made a late charge. Following the secondary on a throw deep in their offensive end, the Tigers’ Al sent a ball into a scrum in the 6-yard box. Riley Dixon punched it past the keeper to trim the A&M edge to two goals. A&M 3, LSU 1.
88’ – Mia Pante intercepted a pass from an LSU defender 35 yards out and sent a pass to Olivieri with no one with 10 yards of her at the top of the penalty arc and sent the ball through the goalkeepers wickets for the icing on the cake. A&M 4, LSU 1.
Texas A&M returns home to host the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday afternoon. First kick at Ellis Field is slated for 3 p.m.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On the match…
“This is a great road win for us. LSU has put together a great tournament resume with some big wins over ranked teams. So to be able to come into their house and get win is huge for our team. It’s nice to have our attackers back, but it’s also nice that the players who took their place while they were out gained great experience. It made it where we could substitute those players on and keep the pressure on.”
On Barbara Olivieri’s night…
“Barb is a special player. The first goal showed her first-class ability. The composure she had on the second goal showed what a special player she is and we’re very fortunate to have her playing for us.”
On the defense…
“We came into this game putting some emphasis on cleaning up the things we do when we don’t have the ball. I thought that Katie (Smith) and Karlina (Sample) did a great job of leading that as our captains, but Kenna was super there as far as giving support. It was unfortunate to give up a goal in the 84th minute, but those are all things we can build upon.
Freshman forward Maile Hayes
On getting a lot of their offensive attack back…
“It was amazing. It showed with our scoring and it showed with our fight. It showed with our work ethic. I think we all connect and we’re all on the same wavelength when we have everyone back.”
On how big Barbara Olivieri’s early goal was…
“Honestly at first none of us really thought it was a goal. It was sort of a slow rolling goal, but that’s all it takes is the placement. Barb is someone that everyone can look up to. She’s an amazing player and having her back is amazing. It set the tone for the game. That goal boosted our confidence.”
On the confidence taking her PK…
“Early on we missed three or four PKs, so someone had to take initiative. Lori (Stephenson) sat us down and gave us a list of people she thought would be most fitting to take PKs. Those people practice PKs every week. I have my confidence because of that work. I knew going up to the spot I was going to crush that one.”
Sophomore forward Barbara Olivieri
On scoring her first goal since August 28 after missing seven matches with an injury…
“Ohmygod, it was amazing. Especially since my first game back (last Friday) was sort of iffy with the injury. It felt great to be back and score two goals and make a big impact on the game. I’m feeling really good.”
On watching Maile Hayes take the penalty kick…
“I knew as soon as she grabbed the ball that she was going to make it. You could tell that she has confidence and it was a great PK.”
On how big her eyes were on the last scoring opportunity…
“I told myself ‘I CAN NOT MISS THIS’ and then it was just executing.”