COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies commence the 2014 campaign with contests against the Dayton Flyers and the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
On Friday, the Maroon and White play one of the most consistently successful teams in the Midwest. Dayton owns 11 Atlantic 10 regular-season crowns, and the Flyers have advanced to eight NCAA Championships with eight Atlantic 10 tournament titles. Last season, Dayton finished 14-5-2 overall and won the Atlantic 10 with a 7-1-0 record.
On Sunday, Texas A&M hosts a familiar face as Stephen F. Austin comes to town skippered by former volunteer assistant coach Wally Crittenden. The Ladyjacks finished 16-3-3 last season and claimed a first-ever three-peat in the Southland Conference with a 10-1-1 ledger in league action.
FRIDAY VS. DAYTON
- SEC Champs Celebration – Pre-game recognition and board unveiling on field. Fans can take pictures with the 2013 SEC Regular Season and Tournament Championship trophies on the concourse. First 50 fans to visit the photo area will receive the 2013 Season Highlight DVD.
SUNDAY VS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
- Welcome Back to Aggieland – Students can enter to have their books paid for by Coach G (Barnes & Noble Gift Card Valued at $400). Winner will be announced at halftime.
- Take A Kid to the Game – Get up to 4 kids (12 and under) in free with the purchase of one adult general admission ticket. Must be purchased at the gate on day of game.
- Giveaway: First 150 kids under 12 to visit the Junior Aggie Club table will receive a youth Aggie Soccer jersey.
Season and individual tickets for the 2014 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 for both matches this weekend are on 12thMan.com. Premium subscribers to the SEC Network can watch both games live via digital platforms on SEC Network +. Every match this season will feature free live audio on RadioAggieland and 12thMan.com.
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WHERE ARE THE AGGIES RANKED?
In the preseason polls, A&M is ranked No. 9 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll, No. 8 in the Soccer America Top 25, No. 4 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 and No. 9 in the BennettRank poll. Defending national champion UCLA claimed the top spot in three of the polls with BennettRank slotting Florida State in the top spot.
ELLIS FIELD ADVANTAGE
Texas A&M owns a 192-29-5 (.861) all-time record at Ellis Field (formerly Aggie Soccer Stadium). The Maroon and White have called the field home since the 1994 season, playing the inaugural 1993 season at Old Tiger Field. Since 2005, the Aggies have registered a 92-13-5 (.859) mark on the friendly pitch.
NEARING 200 WINS IN COLLEGE STATION
The Aggies have been dominant in the Brazos Valley. Texas A&M owns a 199-29-5 (.865) all-time record at College Station. The win tally includes a 192-29-5 (.861) mark at Ellis Field from 1994-2013 and a 7-0 mark at Old Tiger Field in 1993. The Maroon and White are 92-13-5 (.859) at home since 2005.
AGGIES LOOK TO EXTEND 15-WIN SEASON STRETCH TO 11 YEARS
With their 18-5-2 mark last season, the Aggies posted their 10th consecutive 15-win season dating back to 2004. In their first 21 seasons, the only two years the Aggies have not reached the 15-win plateau are 1998 (14-8) and 2003 (13-6-3). The school record for victories stands at 20, set in 2002 with a 20-5-1 mark.
LONE STAR DOMINANCE
Since the 2008 season, the Aggies own a 19-0-5 mark against in-state rivals, including an 11-0-4 record against their former Big 12 Conference colleagues. Last season, A&M went 1-0-2 against Lone Star foe, topping UTSA, 1-0, in the second game of the season, tying Baylor, 0-0, in the sixth game, and tying Texas Tech, 2-2, in the NCAA Second Round, eventually advancing on penalty kicks.
MONOGUE CLIMBING THE CAREER POINTS LIST
Kelley Monogue enters play with 84 career points, good enough for ninth place on A&M’s career points list. Next on the list for Monogue is No. 8 Melissa Garey (91 - 2004-07). Ashlee Pistorius (2004-07) owns the school record with 194 points followed by Bryn Blalack (1994-197) with 192. During her healthiest campaign, Monogue logged 47 points as a freshman in 2011. Recovering from a knee injury in 2012, the McKinney, Texas native logged 20 points. Last season, she registered 17 points as she still felt the effects of the earlier ailment. She needs 20 points to crack the top five.
MONOGUE CLIMBING THE CAREER GOALS LIST
Kelley Monogue enters play with 35 career goals, ranked seventh on A&M’s career goals list. The next targets on her list are No. 6 Heather Ragsdale (37 - 1999-2002) and No. 5 Melissa Garey (39 - 2004-07). Ashlee Pistorius owns the school career record with 81 goals from 2004-07. Monogue was A&M’s leading goal scorer as a freshman with 19 tallies in 2011. She added 10 in 2012 and six in 2013.
KUNZ CLIMBING THE CAREER GOALS LIST
Annie Kunz enters play with 32 career goals, tied with Yvette Okler (1993-96) for ninth place on the A&M all-time list. The next target on the list is Kristen Strutz (2000-03) who ranks eighth with 34 goals. Teammate Kelley Monogue is also within striking distance in seventh place with 35 goals. Kunz tallied 14 goals as a freshman and 13 as a sophomore. Hampered by an injury that held her out of four games and limited her to a reserve role most of the 2013 campaign, Kunz managed just five goals in 2013.
GUERRIERI RANKS AMONG THE NATION’S WINNINGEST COACHES
Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri ranks among the top five in both winning percentage and victories among active Division I coaches. With a career record of 372-118-27 (.746), he ranks fifth in winning percentage (minimum five years as a Division I head coach) and victories, passing James Madison’s David Lombardo (372) and William & Mary’s John Daly (369) last season. Guerrieri ranks sixth all-time among NCAA Division I coaches in victories, trailing North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance (763), Connecticut’s Len Tsantiris (511), Florida’s Becky Burleigh (419), Santa Clara’s Jerry Smith (410) and Randy Waldrum (400), who left Notre Dame in the off-season to become head coach of the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
SERIES VS. DAYTON
This marks the Aggies first-ever meeting against Dayton.
The Flyers are the dominant force in Atlantic 10 Conference soccer scoring 11 regular-season titles and eight tournament crowns since 2006. Dayton has made eight NCAA Championship appearances, including three since 2009. Mike Tucker has served as head coach for 19 years, posting a 282-97-27 mark. His .728 winning percentage in 20 years as a head coach ranks 11th among active NCAA Division I coaches. The Flyers were 14-5-2 in 2013, winning the A-10 regular-season title with a 7-1-0 mark. Dayton returns 19 letterwinners from last season, including seven starters. The top returner is Ashley Campbell who is ranked No. 56 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 100. The junior forward notched 41 points on 18 goals and five assists last year, earning NSCAA All-Region and A-10 Offensive Player of the Year distinction. Elizabeth James returns in the woodwork for the Flyers, coming off an A-10 All-Rookie Team campaign in which she logged eight shutouts and a 1.13 goals-against average.
VERSUS THE ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
Texas A&M is 6-1-0 all-time against the current 14-team membership of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Aggies are 2-1-0 against UMass, and 1-0-0 against Davidson, Fordham, George Mason and Rhode Island. The last two meetings against Atlantic 10 squads offered bad and good offerings for Shea Groom. In 2011, Groom suffered a season-ending injury in a 13-1 rout of Fordham. Last season, Groom tallied her first career hat trick with three goals in a 3-1 win against UMass.
SERIES VS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
The Aggies are 4-0-0 all-time against Stephen F. Austin, outscoring the Ladyjacks by a combined 18-1 margin. Ellis Field was the setting for all four matches. The last meeting came in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championship with the Aggies advancing on a 1-0 win. Annie Kunz scored the lone goal in the 29th minute, and Jordan Day made four saves for the shutout. The initial meeting came in 1995 with A&M scoring a 10-0 victory. The other wins came in 2005 (3-0) and 2007 (4-1).
SCOUTING STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
Stephen F. Austin is led by former Aggie volunteer assistant coach Wally Crittenden. Last year, in his first season as Ladyjacks’ head coach, Crittenden led SFA to a 16-3-3 record and a third-consecutive Southland Conference regular-season title with a 10-1-1 league ledger. Stephen F. Austin returns eight starters from a team that won the school’s eighth overall league crown. The Ladyjacks placed a league-high four players on the preseason All-SLC first-team, led by senior forwards Chelsea Raymond and Zuri Prince and sister defenders Megan Dunnigan, a senior, and Brooke Dunigan, a sophomore.
VERSUS SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
The Aggies are currently 11-0-0 against the current membership of the ever-shifting Southland Conference, which now stands at a 12-team league for soccer. The Maroon and White are 4-0-0 vs. Stephen F. Austin, 2-0-0 vs. McNeese State, Northwestern State and Sam Houston State and a 1-0-0 mark against Houston Baptist. Texas A&M has not played a match against Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana or Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
SEC PRESEASON POLL
Entering their third season in the Southeastern Conference, the Texas A&M Aggies were selected second in the 2014 SEC Preseason Soccer Coaches’ Poll. The Aggies were edged out by the Florida Gators in voting by the league’s 14 head coaches. Texas A&M received 162 points (six first-place votes) and trailed only the Gators, who accumulated 164 points, including eight first-place votes. Points were compiled on a 13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis though each coach was not allowed to vote for their own squad.
The amount of offense the Aggies return from 2013 is staggering. A&M lost just two letterwinners, including one starter, from last season. The departure of starting defender Rachel Lenz and reserve midfielder Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar resulted in the loss of just two goals, one assist and five points from last season. The Aggies return 54 of 56 goals (96.4 percent), 47 of 48 assists (97.9) and 155 of 160 points (96.9) from last season’s arsenal.
All nine players who recorded multiple goals a year ago return, including leading scorer Shea Groom (14). Liz Keester (10), Allie Bailey (9), Kelley Monogue (6) and Annie Kunz (5) are notable goal scorers returning. Other players with multiple digits in the points column to return include Bianca Brinson (3 g, 7 a) with 13 points and Karlie Mueller (0 g, 10 a) with 10 points.
Seniors Jordan Day and Renee McDermott account for 6,773 of the 6,790 minutes in goal for the Aggies since 2011. The other 17 minutes were played by Megan Majewski who appeared in two matches as a reserve in 2011.
Day has logged a bulk of the minutes in goal with 71 appearances, including 69 starts. Her career goals-against average stands at 0.89 and she has posted a 50-16-5 mark and logged 230 saves in 6,264 minutes. Day was named All-SEC First Team in 2012 when she logged a school-record 14 shutouts and posted a 0.63 goals-against average. Last season, the Gilbert, Arizona native posted a 1.01 goals-against average and six shutouts en route to All-SEC Second Team recognition.
McDermott has logged 510 minutes of action with 10 appearances, including five starts. Her career goals-against average stands at 1.24 and she has 16 career saves. She saw a bulk of her action as a freshman when she logged 422 minutes in six games, including five starts. She logged a 1.49 goals-against average, 14 saves and a 3-0 record, including two shutouts in 2011. The last two seasons she has made four relief appearances, logging 88 minutes without yielding a goal.
The Aggies return 255 of their 275 starts on the pitch from 2013 (92.7 percent). All 20 starts missing from a year ago belong to Rachel Lenz. The Round Rock product started 20 games on the backline and added one goal and one assist.
A&M IN SEASON OPENERS
Since 1993, Texas A&M is 17-4 all-time in the first match of the year. The Aggies won 10 of their last 12 season openers with the losses coming to then-No. 1 North Carolina (L, 0-3) in 2010 and then-No. 7 Duke (L, 0-2) last season.
A&M IN HOME OPENERS
Since 1993, Texas A&M is 19-2 all-time in home openers. Sixteen of the Aggies’ 21 home openers also doubled as season openers with A&M posting a 14-2 mark in those games. In the five years that the Aggies did not open the season at home (1993-94, ‘96, 2001 and ‘12), they outscored their opponents by a combined 28-3 margin before finally debuting in College Station. In 1993, A&M did not appear at home until the eighth game of the season when the Aggies handed Oral Roberts an 11-0 defeat.
The Aggies sport one of the most impactful senior classes to ever grace a collegiate soccer field with Allie Bailey, Bianca Brinson, Jordan Day, Leigh Edwards, Shea Groom, Annie Kunz, Renee McDermott, Kelley Monogue and Meghan Streight. Texas A&M’s nine seniors account for 405 of the possible 814 starts over the last three seasons, a rate of 49.8 percent. The tally includes 90 of 264 starts (.341) in their freshman campaign of 2011, 138 of 275 starts (.502) in 2012 and 177 of 275 starts (.643) in 2013.
The corps of seven field players has served to deliver a bulk of the payload the last three seasons, accounting for 130 of the 180 goals (.722) the last three seasons. As freshmen they scored 52 of A&M’s 76 goals (.684) and accounted for 37 of 48 (.771) in 2012 and 41 of 56 (.732) in 2013. The class has registered 81 of the Aggies’ 181 assists (.448), with the most impactful year coming last season with 29 of 48 assists (.604). The point tally for their career stands at 341 of the Maroon and White’s 541 (.630).
Day and McDermott have combined to play all but 17 minutes in goal the last two seasons, accounting for all 74 starts.
DAY SETS A&M SINGLE-SEASON SHUTOUT MARK
In 2012, Jordan Day set the A&M single-season shutout mark with 14, passing Ester Thompson, who is listed as having 9.5 in 2001, and Melanie Wilson, who is credited with 9.3 in 1999. Day also registered nine shutouts in 2011, and her 29 career shutouts rank second behind only Wilson (32.3).
In 2012, Day ranked third in the nation in goalie minutes (2271:13) and led the country with 14 shutouts. She tied the SEC school record with seven consecutive shutouts.
CHALLENGING NON-CONFERENCE SLATE
The non-conference slate figures to be one of the toughest on record for the Aggies. All eight opponents finished in the Top 100 in the final RPI last season, with Arizona being the lowest rated team at 83. Marquette (6), UCF (13), Stephen F Austin (51), Arizona State (60), Illinois State (66), Florida Gulf Coast (67), Dayton (70) and Arizona finished last season with an average RPI of 52 compared to last year’s eight non-conference opponents owning an average RPI of 101.
Texas A&M’s non-conference schedule is challenging with six of the eight opponents having won their league’s regular-season title in 2013. The defending league champions on the non-conference slate include Dayton (Atlantic 10), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), UCF (The American), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), FGCU (Atlantic Sun) and Marquette (Big East). All six teams were selected to repeat as 2014 champions in their league’s respective preseason coaches’ polls. The two non-conference opponents who did not win conference titles last year are Arizona and Arizona State, who both finished in the middle of the powerhouse Pac 12 Conference that produced national champion UCLA.
The Aggies continue their four-game homestand with a non-conference match against Central Florida at 7 pm on Friday, August 29.