Texas A&M torches Mizzou soccer in 5-1 blowout

Aggies Ally Watt and Haley Pounds combined for three goals and two assists to hand the Tigers their second straight SEC loss.
Maneater File Photo

Missouri soccer was simply outclassed on the field at Walton Stadium on Sunday, falling in a 5-1 rout to Texas A&M. Aggies forwards sophomore Ally Watt and senior Haley Pounds dominated the game for A&M, combining for three of the Aggies’ five goals. Tigers senior Kaitlyn Clark’s lone goal for the Tigers was her first of the season.

Missouri has now dropped two of its last three games and has opened Southeastern Conference play 1-2. The Tigers have been outscored by opponents 9-5 in conference play thus far.

Texas A&M was aggressive offensively from the opening kickoff. Pounds very nearly put the Aggies ahead in the second minute. Watt delivered an accurate cross from right in front of the goal to Pounds for a straightaway shot on goal that was stopped by Tigers junior goalkeeper Kelsey Dossey, who stepped up in the box to deflect the shot. Watt continued to apply pressure on the Missouri defense, rattling a shot off the top crossbar four minutes later.

The Aggies’ hectic pace and frequent attacks early finally paid off in the 11th minute. Pounds took a rebound off the right goal post and slotted the ball past Dossey for her third goal of the season. She was assisted by Watt, who was extremely active in the early parts of the first half.

In the 23rd minute, Watts connected with Pounds once again for the Aggies’ second score of the game. Pounds ran unguarded right up the middle of the box, where she received another cross from Watts and finished with a header into the right post.

Texas A&M dominated the first half as the Aggies were relentless in applying offensive pressure. Missouri was fortunate to enter the break down just two goals. Even with stellar offensive execution, Texas A&M failed to convert several opportunities to blow the game open before 45 minutes had passed.

The main reason the Tigers remained in the game was Dossey’s performance in goal. She racked up three saves in the half and prevented the game from getting out of hand. Dossey was replaced by redshirt senior keeper Kristen Rivers in the second half.

“I think a lesson that we have to try to work on is that we can’t give up goals early in the first half because we end up chasing the game,” Coach Bryan Blitz said. “We have to figure that part out.”

The second half started with more of the same for Mizzou. The Tigers were constantly forced to defend their own box and struggled to get anything going offensively.

That changed in the 54th minute, when Clark smashed a low-bouncing shot into the back of the net from about 25 yards out. The goal shifted the momentum to the Tigers for the first time in the game.

“I’ve been wanting to score for a while now,” Clark said. “I saw the left post wide open, and I just hit it.”

The momentum didn’t last long as Watt continued to wreak havoc on the Missouri defense. She kept applying the pressure on the Tigers and eventually broke through, scoring her second goal of the season in the 61st minute. Taking on three Missouri defenders on the right side of the field, Watt was pushed farther and farther toward the touchline. In a stroke of brilliance, she snuck the ball past all three defenders and chipped the ball past Rivers to put the Aggies ahead 3-1.

The Aggies continued to pour it on with two more goals late in the half to completely bury the Tigers. A&M midfielder Mikaela Harvey put the Aggies ahead 4-1 with a one-timer goal off a pass from Addie McCain in the 69th minute. A Cienna Arrieta free kick gave the Aggies their final score.

The Tigers return to the pitch Friday, Sept. 29, to battle Vanderbilt at 6 p.m on the road.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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