April 25, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Winning championship trophies is nothing new to the reigning Big 12 Champion Texas A&M soccer team. Aggie soccer has won more titles than any other program in the conference, a habit which seems to have carried over to the team's newest members as well.
On April 16, A&M soccer signees Meghan Straight and Kelley Monogue led their McKinney Boyd High School team to the Texas UIL State Championship. It is the second state championship trophy Boyd has won under the star duo of Streight and Monogue, also winning the school's first-ever championship as freshmen in 2008.
Monogue is the team's leading scorer and Streight leads the defense, but scored a number of goals this season by coming up on re-start situations like free kicks and corners, where she would usually win aerial battles.
The two Boyd stars join a list of 10 talented teammates that the Aggies signed on Feb. 2. Most of those players have been major stars for their championship-level teams as well.
Last month, Allie Bailey guided her La Jolla Torrey Pines High School team to a California state championship, and last year Shea Groom led her Liberty High School team to the Missouri state championship. Meanwhile, Annie Kunz has been named the Colorado Player of the Year in her sophomore and junior seasons as she led the Wheat Ridge High School team to back-to-back state championships. Missouri and Colorado have yet to crown their champions for 2011.
On the club soccer scene, Bailey and fellow Aggie signee Katy Perry led their Surf SC team to a national championship in 2009, while Monogue lead the Dallas Texans to the national championship in 2008. Another incoming Aggie, Leigh Edwards, plays on the defending 2010 national champion Southern California Blues.
"Our mission statement at Texas A&M athletics is `Building Champions', and we have a long history of developing players into achieving great things at the college level and for the rest of their lives," A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. "We recruit the top players from the top youth programs in America because those kids are accustomed to winning and it's an expectation they bring to training every day. They have winning habits which we build upon and work to develop on a bigger stage."
This year the Aggies will work to defend their Big 12 Championship in a conference that shrinks to just 10 programs. Texas A&M has won more Big 12 titles (11) than all the other teams in the league combined, but the Aggies have their eyes on bigger prizes in 2011 and beyond.
"My coaches and players are single-minded in working to win national championships for Texas A&M," Guerrieri said. "Winning all of those Big 12 trophies is tough and moving up to a national title is a very big step - it's an extremely high goal, and one that has only been accomplished by a handful of programs in the past 30 years. But, we feel confident in our ability to compete with anyone.
"We play in the best home venue, and in front of the best college soccer fans in America, so we are all excited about the possibilities that exist here which are not possible in other places. If we can keep our talent healthy and get some fortunate bounces and breaks along the way, you never know. Texas A&M has created a culture of winning in all sports in recent years and I'm excited about the tradition we've developed over the years as well as the talent in the program and the new players who are on their way to this team."