Sunday Best: Soccer returns home to take on Texas A&M as top-10 team

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

Alabama soccer will play its second game as a top-10 team in program history in Tuscaloosa on Sunday. The No. 6 Crimson Tide is set to battle its first SEC West foe, the Texas A&M Aggies. 

Alabama (9-1-1, 2-0 SEC) has won five straight games and is riding a nine-match unbeaten streak. In two conference contests, the Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 6-2. Those contests were wins over then-No. 5 South Carolina and preseason conference champion pick Tennessee. 

The Volunteers were the last team to face the Crimson Tide, falling to Alabama 4-2 on Thursday, Sept. 22. Reyna Reyes led the offensive charge with a goal in each half, and Riley Mattingly Parker added her eighth goal of the season.  

Texas A&M (5-3-2, 0-2 SEC) will be looking for a massive reversal of its conference fortunes. Each of the Aggies’ conference showings were decided by a single goal — the Aggies fell to No. 21 Mississippi State 1-0 on Thursday. 

Georgia felled the Aggies 3-2 in the conference opener on Sept. 16. 

At its scoring best, Texas A&M can put up numbers. For a two-match stretch from Aug. 21-25, they scored a combined 14 goals while holding the opponents off the board. Their season high amount of goals in a single match is eight.  

That’s two more than the Crimson Tide put up against Chattanooga when logging its season high.  

The lone common opponent the Aggies share with Alabama is Clemson. The Tigers and Texas A&M fought to a scoreless draw in their respective season openers. The Crimson Tide upset Clemson 3-0 on Aug. 25 to set this remarkable run in motion. 

“We have a very talented team that is confident and hungry right now,” head coach Wes Hart said following his team’s victory over Tennessee. “We need to continue to do the little things that got us to where we are right now. We know there’s a lot of soccer ahead of us.” 

The Crimson Tide will present a challenge to the Aggies in the form of its potent offense, which has grown sharper by the match and bolstered by some of the most experienced players in the country. Texas A&M is 0-2-1 against ranked foes.  

The defense for Alabama has allowed two goals at most in a match this season and posted six shutouts. That does not bode well for the Aggies’ chances to strike fast or score as many as eight goals again. 

Both teams are looking to make a statement in conference play. The Aggies have a lot to prove, but the Crimson Tide is steadfast and looking to continue its success. A 10-match unbeaten streak is certainly a feather many teams want to add to their caps. 

Alabama has the chance to achieve just that, and win its sixth straight, on Sunday night. 

Kickoff for the match is set for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]