PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Texas A&M soccer team battles the Georgia Bulldogs in Thursday’s SEC Tournament semifinal match. First kick at Escambia County Stadium is 7:30 p.m.
The winner advances to Sunday’s title match to face either regular season champion Arkansas or No. 4 seed Mississippi State.
The Maroon & White earned the semifinal spot with Tuesday’s 1-0 victory against No. 15 South Carolina. The Aggies’ win was sparked by Sydney Becerra’s 79th minute golazo and a stout defense which posted its ninth shutout of the season.
The Aggies are 15-7 (.682) at the SEC Tournament. Texas A&M has advanced to the championship match in four of the 11 prior seasons in the league, including winning titles in 2013, ’14 and ’17. Since the 2012 season when the Aggies joined the SEC, the Maroon & White have the most shutouts in the SEC Tournament with 10. Florida and Arkansas are next on the list with seven clean sheets. The Aggies lead the league with 15 wins at the tournament since 2012.
Ol’ Sarge’s cartoons own a tradition of success at conference tournaments with an overall mark of 38-17-14 (.652) in league tournaments. A&M posted a 23-10-4 (.676) record at the Big XII Championship and won the title in five of the tournament’s first 16 years. The Aggies won Big XII crowns in 1997, 2001, ’04, ’05 and ’11.
Texas A&M owns a 7-2-0 edge in the all-time series with all the meetings coming since the Aggies joined the SEC for the 2012 campaign. Georgia won the most recent bout, 3-2, at Ellis Field to open the 2022 SEC schedule. Texas A&M lost despite owning a 19-7 advantage in shots, including 7-3 in shots-on-goal. Taylor Pounds and Andersen Williams scored equalizers in the 15th and 37th minutes, respectively, but Georgia’s Daisa Torbert scored a 69th-minute game-winner. The teams have met once in SEC Tournament play. In 2014, Bianca Brinson, Annie Kunz and Meghan Streight scored for Texas A&M in a 3-0 quarterfinal victory en route to a tournament title.
Georgia is 9-4-5 on the season and finished with the same 4-3-3 league ledger as the Aggies. The Bulldogs performed the last 88 minutes with just 10 players in their 2-1 semifinal victory over Kentucky. Georgia’s offense is led by Nicole Vernis with 14 points on four goals and six assists and two-time All-American Croix Bethune who is working back into form after missing the beginning of the season with injury. The Bulldogs’ leading goal scorer Summer Denigan will miss the match after receiving a red card against Kentucky.
With its win in the SEC Tournament quarterfinal, Texas A&M sealed its 30th winning record in 31 seasons. The Maroon & White had a streak of 28 consecutive winning seasons snapped with 2021’s 7-9-2 finish. Prior to that, the closest the Aggies finished to the .500 mark is the 12-8-2 (.591) record they posted in 2016. The 28-season string ranks sixth all-time among NCAA Division I schools.
The match airs on SEC Network with Mike Watts (play-by-play) and Jill Loyden (color) on the call. A radio broadcast is available in the Brazos Valley at Christmas 97.3 FM and worldwide within the 12th Man Mobile app and at 12thMan.com/listen.