COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The 14th-ranked Texas A&M soccer team dives into a new season and a new conference this week when the Aggies travel to California for a pair of matches, at UC Irvine and San Diego.
The Aggies will begin the 2012 season at UC Irvine with a 9 p.m. CST match at Anteater Stadium. A 9 p.m. (CST) Wednesday match at San Diego rounds out the road trip. Both matches will feature free audio streaming on AggieAthletics.com.
A&M finished the 2011 season with a 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, ending its run in the NCAA Second Round with a loss to Virginia Tech. The Aggies left the Big 12 with their 12th-and-final conference championship after winning the Big 12 Tournament title. The team will compete in the Southeastern conference for the first time this season, in the league's Western Division.
The team's annual Maroon & White match was cancelled Friday after inclement weather initially forced delays.
The Aggies' annual Fish Camp Match will take place next Saturday, Aug. 25, against UTSA. Members of the class of 2016 and Fish Camp counselors and co-chairs who wear their Fish Camp 2012 t-shirt will receive FREE admission to the match. Each year, the Fish Camp game brings in thousands of fans to one of the best college soccer atmospheres in the country.
Season and individual tickets for the 2012 home season are now for sale. To purchase tickets, please contact the 12th Man Foundation Ticket Center at tickets.12thmanfoundation.com, 979-845-2311 or toll free at 1-888-99-AGGIE. Tickets are also available in person beginning one hour before the match at Ellis Field.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live stats will be available for all A&M matches this week on AggieAthletics.com. In addition, free live audio will be provided for the games on AggieAthletics.com.
FOLLOW @AGGIESOCCER ON TWITTER
Not following @AggieSoccer on Twitter? Sign up or sign in now to find out what's happening. You'll stay up-to-date on the latest news and receive live in-game updates at each and every match.
WHERE ARE THE AGGIES RANKED?
A&M is ranked No. 14 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason, No. 15 in the Soccer America preseason poll and No. 10 in the CollegeSoccer360.com preseason poll. Stanford claimed the top spot in the NSCAA poll, followed by Duke, Wake Forest, Florida State and Oklahoma State.
AT THE TOP AGAIN
With the 2012 No. 14 preseason ranking, A&M has been in the preseason national top 15 every year for 17 consecutive seasons. The Aggies have also consistently appeared in top 25 polls for the past 16 years.
MEET THE SEC
Each of the 14 schools in Southeastern Conference (SEC) sponsor women's soccer. The conference is split into two divisions: Eastern and Western. The Aggies, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Mississippi State comprise the SEC Western Division and Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt make up the SEC Eastern Division. The Aggies will play each of the other 13 schools in the conference this season, beginning with LSU on Sept. 14 in Baton Rouge, La.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONS
The Aggies won their 12th-and-final Big 12 Championship during the 2011 conference tournament. With just 15 seconds left in the Championship match, Tournament MVP and then-freshman Kelley Monogue weaved through three defenders and ricocheted a shot off of the left post that found then-senior Megan Majewski at 18 yards from goal. Majewski fired with nine seconds on the clock and netted the 1-0 goal against Oklahoma State to win the tournament. The Aggies were the only school in the conference to earn a Big 12 Tournament berth in the 16 years of its existence.
A&M IN SEASON OPENERS AND AT HOME
Since 1993, Texas A&M is 14-1 when it opens its season at home and is 16-3 all-time in the first match of the year. The Aggies have kicked off the season four times at neutral sites with a 2-2 record. At home, the team boasts a 167-24-4 record, good for a .870 winning percentage. Last season, the Aggies defeated Fresno State, 4-2 at home in their season opener. This is the team's first season opener at an opponent's field.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
The Anteaters played their first match of the season at home against BYU on Friday, dropping a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker to the Cougars. UC Irvine ended the 2011 season against the Aggies' other opponent this week, San Diego, in the NCAA First Round. The teams tied at 2-2 before San Diego came out ahead in a 5-3 penalty kick shootout. The Anteaters were first in the Big West in 2011, with a 6-1-1 record in conference play and a 14-4-3 record overall. The team returns six starters and 17 letterwinners from a year ago, while welcoming nine newcomers. First Team All-Big West honoree Natalia Ledezma is of notice, as she led the team with 12 goals, including three game winners, and eight assists in 2011.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO
The Toreros also dropped their season opener, falling 2-4 to Pepperdine in Malibu on Friday. USD is receiving votes in the NSCAA preseason poll after ending the 2011 season in the NCAA Third Round. San Diego is also coming off of a conference championship, finishing first in the West Coast Conference in 2011 with a 7-1-0 record in WCC matches. Overall, the Toreros went 12-8-2. The team returns five starters and 13 letterwinners while bringing in eight newcomers. The Toreros will open the home slate on Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against Cal State Northridge.
The series against UC Irvine is tied at 1-1. The teams last met in College Station last season when the Anteaters upended the Aggies, 1-0. The Aggies and Toreros have only met once before, in 1996 when the Aggies dropped a 3-5 decision at home.
The Aggies' 23-player roster features nine upperclassmen, 10 sophomores and 4 freshmen. A&M's squad is guided by seven seniors. The team returns eight starters and 19 letterwinners from a year ago.
The Aggies welcome four freshmen this season, in Janae Cousineau (San Clemente, Calif.), Kristi Leonard (League City, Texas), Karlie Mueller (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Jackie Tondl (Omaha, Neb.).
SEC PRESEASON POLL
Texas A&M, the reigning Big 12 champion, notched the second spot in the 2012 SEC Soccer Preseason Poll, after receiving 12 of the first-place votes for the SEC West and tallying 89 points overall. The Aggies were picked to win the Western Division and to finish behind Eastern Division favorite Florida, who earned 90 points in the poll. LSU received two first-place votes for the SEC West and was picked to finish second in the division, while Georgia was picked to finish second in the East.
FOUR AGGIES ON SEC PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Sophomores Kelley Monogue, Meghan Streight and Katie Perry and senior Beth West were named to the SEC Preseason Watch List on Aug. 8.
MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
Monogue was placed on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The award is the highest honor in collegiate soccer and will be given to a winner on Jan. 11. The field will be narrowed to 15 semifinalists in late November, and three finalists will be named on Dec. 6.
TOP DRAWER SOCCER HONORS
The Aggies ranked No. 5 in TopDrawerSoccer.com's Preseason Rankings and placed three players on the publication's SEC Top 20 List. Monogue landed at the top of the list with a No. 1 ranking and was joined in the top 10 by No. 5 Perry and No. 9 West. The Aggies were the only team in the SEC to have three honorees on the list and one of only two schools with multiple players in the top 10.
A&M will play a difficult home slate, hosting 12 opponents at Ellis Field including seven SEC foes. The Aggies' home opener will take place next Saturday, Aug. 25, in a 7 p.m. match vs. UTSA.
A&M faces a tough non-conference schedule. The Aggies' seven games against non-SEC opponents include UC Irvine, San Diego (RV), UTSA, Rutgers, St. Mary's (Calif.), No. 18 Long Beach State and Central Michigan.
THE AGGIE SOCCER HOUR
This year the Aggie Soccer Hour, Texas A&M soccer's weekly radio talk show, is broadcast live from Rudy's Bar-B-Que on Harvey Rd. in College Station every Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. Come and be a part of the show each week, listen locally on KZNE 1150 AM or worldwide on RadioAggieland.com. Each week, Aggie soccer play-by-play announcer David Ellis will be joined by head coach G Guerrieri, associate head coach Phil Stephenson, and Aggie players.
AGGIE SOCCER ON TV
The Aggie soccer team will be on the tube four times this season. The team's Sept. 7 match vs. Long Beach State will be the NSCAA College Game of the Week and will be aired on the FOX Soccer Channel. The Sept. 30 match at Mississippi State will be on Cox Sports TV, the Oct. 7 Florida game will be on ESPNU and the Missouri game on Oct. 25 will be on SportSouth/ESPN3. The CST and SportSouth matches will also be on ESPN3.com and the ESPNU match will be streamed on WatchESPN.