Jan. 31, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -

The Big 12 Champion Texas A&M soccer team plays seven matches at the Aggie Soccer Stadium to complete its spring schedule, head coach G Guerrieri announced Monday.

“We are excited to get our non-traditional season underway,” Guerrieri said. “We started team practices last week and will kick off the first of our five game dates this Sunday in our stadium with our 18th Annual 7v7 Tournament at Texas A&M.”

A&M’s spring matches consist of five dates, beginning with its 18th-Annual 7v7 Tournament on Feb. 6. The Aggies face three different opponents in one day, starting with UTSA. The Roadrunners earned their first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament in 2010. Then, on Feb. 12, the Aggies face Stephen F. Austin before hosting Tulsa on Feb. 26 and Houston on March 6. The team closes the spring season with a game against Texas State on March 26.

“Our roster is significantly smaller than it was last year - with just 11 active players - due to the graduation of a great senior class, a couple other students being out of the country while studying abroad, and a few other players who are still recovering from injuries and surgeries incurred last season,” Guerrieri said. “So playing a reduced-size game to start the non-traditional season is as much a case of necessity this year as it is our tradition within Texas A&M soccer’s 18-year history.”

A&M soccer participated in its 16th straight NCAA Tournament in 2010 and advanced to the second round. The Aggies ended their season in St. Paul, Minn., after falling 2-1 in overtime to Minnesota. The team won its 11th Big 12 Championship, compiling an overall record of 15-5-3 and an 8-1-1 mark in conference play.

“We have always done a lot of training in a reduced-numbers situation,” Guerrieri said. “By reducing the size of the field and the number of players involved, we directly increase the amount of touch opportunities for each player and the impact each player can have on the game.  Playing 7v7 games has always been a great way to kick off our spring season and to get a good, early evaluation of where our players are following a long Christmas school holiday.”

Admission to the spring contests is free. For the most up-to-date schedule information, log on to AggieAthletics.com.