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Ole Miss Hosts No. 5 Texas A&M on the Pitch

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

CeCe Kizer, 5, F/MF, Overland Park, Kan. Haleigh Stackpole, 21, MF, Ft. Bragg, N.C.
Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

The Ole Miss soccer team returns to action this evening as they play host to the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies. First kick is slated for 7 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Complex.

Ole Miss (8-4) is coming into this matchup after upsetting No. 9 Auburn Sunday night on The Plains. Senior CeCe Kizer had a day to remember on the pitch as she scored twice in the second half to give the Rebels the win. Both of her goals were milestones as she first broke the Ole Miss program record for goals in a career (her 45th) and the second gave the senior 110 career points, also an Ole Miss record.

“(Kizer) has been unbelievable for her four years here,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott said. “We’re hoping she ends this really strong, but really happy for her too. To break those records and get that monkey off her back, letting her go out and score more goals.”

The win was also the first for the Rebels over a top-10 team since upending No. 7 Florida 3-2 in overtime in 2009.

Texas A&M comes to Oxford as one of the hottest teams not only in the SEC but in the entire country.  Ranked at No. 5 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, the Aggies have lost just once at 11-1, outscoring their opponents 33-5, with all but one of their wins coming by multiple goals. The Texas A&M offense has been on fire all season long, ranking second in the nation with 33 goals in 2018, while coming in at sixth in total points with 92. The defense for the Aggies has also been a tough code to crack, with A&M ranking 12th nationally with 0.417 goals against average and sixth in the nation with a .750 shutout percentage.

Junior forward Ally Watt is the straw that stirs the drink that is the Texas A&M offense. Watt, a First Team All-SEC honoree in 2017 and U20 USWNT participant, ranks second in the SEC and 14th in the nation with eight goals on the year while ranking 21st in the NCAA with 18 points. Watt has scored in seven of the Aggies’ 12 matches this season. Outside of Watt, the rest of the scoring for Texas A&M is pretty well spread around amongst 11 players. Junior midfielder Grace Piper ranks second on the team with four goals, while four players are tied for third with three scores. Among those four Aggies is senior defender Kendall Ritchie, who is fifth in the nation with seven assists.

Ritchie, a 2017 Second Team All-SEC performer, anchors the back line for A&M, helping the Aggies to nine shutouts on the season. In goal, it’s been the Cosette Morché show. A senior from Lawrenceville, Georgia, Morché has played all 1,080 minutes for the Aggies, posting 0.42 goals against average with a 0.861 save percentage on 31 stops.

Ole Miss and Texas A&M have matched up eight times in the all-time series, with the Aggies holding a 5-2-1 advantage. After the Aggies won the first three meetings from 2012-14, the series has been a rather back-and-forth affair, with no team registering consecutive victories. The last three matches between the Rebels and Aggies have been dead split at 1-1-1, with Texas A&M winning last season’s affair in College Station, repaying Ole Miss for a 2-1 defeat in Oxford the year before.

Fans can watch all of the action of this match on the SECNetwork+.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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