STARKVILLE, Miss. – The No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies scored a pair of goals early in the match and hydroplaned to a 2-0 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on a rain saturated pitch at MSU Soccer Field on Sunday afternoon.
Texas A&M improved to 11-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in SEC play. With a loss by the Missouri Tigers (1-0 vs. Tennessee) on Sunday, Texas A&M became the last unbeaten team in league play. The Aggies own a seven-point lead over Auburn in the SEC Western Division standings and a one-point lead over Florida and Missouri in the overall SEC standings.
You’ll forgive Texas A&M women’s soccer coach G Guerrieri if he seems a little removed from the hubbub surrounding the move of the Aggie athletics programs to the SEC. No doubt, Guerrieri faces the same challenges of learning new opponents, managing increased travel and defending his recruiting turf as any A&M coach. However, you’ll forgive him if he makes this transition from a slightly different perspective than his colleagues in College Station. While the A&M athletic department fled the Big 12 in hopes of shedding its little brother image and stepping out of the shadow of the Burnt Orange leviathan that is Longhorn athletics, Guerrieri and his A&M women’s soccer program was approaching two decades of continuous soccer dominance over UT. On the football field, Aggie may have been little brother, but on the soccer pitch, A&M wasn’t just the older sister – they were Big Momma. No matter what the Longhorns tried, A&M women’s soccer just gave them the back of the hand, usually flush across the cheek.
Make no mistake. Guerrieri and the Aggie women’s soccer team have owned UT since the the inception of the program. While the Aggie football team suffered the indignity of losing the last planned meeting with the Longhorns on its home field, the Aggie soccer team heaped the same fate, but more convincingly, on the Horns, drubbing UT 3-0 at Mike Myers stadium on October 28, 2011. There were no wild celebrations or overly dramatic pronouncements of the significance of this “final” meeting between the schools. It was just another notch in the Aggie belt. Since UT began varsity level soccer in 1994, the Aggies hold a 18-5-2 all time record over the Horns. This head to head advantage exists in every aspect between the programs: conference championships, All-Americans, NCAA playoff success. It’s not a fluke. It’s not a blip. It’s almost two decades of complete dominance. The contrast may be more sharp this year than ever. A&M is edging toward a Top 10 ranking once again, while UT has fallen to a 2-6 record against mediocre competition.
But the question is why. Why, with all the resources and reputation on the 40 Acres, has A&M so thoroughly established itself as the premier women’s soccer program in Texas?