BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies got a pair of first half goals from SEC Co-Freshman of the Week Barbara Olivieri in a 3-0 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday evening at Ellis Field.
Olivieri found the net twice in a span of 2:43 to give Ol' Sarge's charges a 2-0 lead in the 37th minute. Ali Russell finished off the scoring with the first goal of her career in the 61st minute. Texas A&M got assists from Lauren Geczik, Jimena Lopez, Kendall Bates and Kate Colvin.
On the season, Olivieri leads the Aggies with eight points on three goals and two assists.
Jordan Burbank logged her first career shutout in goal for Texas A&M. The Aggie defense of Katie Smith, Karlina Sample, Lopez, Macie Kolb, Daria Britton, Sawyer Dumond, Taylor Pounds and Taylor Ziemer stymied Mississippi State all night, holding the Bulldogs to just six shots and one shot-on-goal.
The Aggies distinct advantages in shots (19-6), shots-on-goal (11-1) and corner kicks (7-1).
Texas A&M improved to 3-1-0 on the season while the Bulldogs suffered their first defeat, moving to 2-1-2 on the year.
34' - Lopez sent a diagonal ball in from the SEC logo on the left flank, finding Geczik three yards off the end line to the right of the 6-yard box. Geczik punched a cross to the top of six where Olivieri needed one touch to put the ball past the keeper on the left. A&M 1, MSU 0.
37' - Kendall Bates sent a ball to the PK spot from the left corner of the penalty box where Olivieri collected it off a defender and beat the keeper from seven yards out for the brace. A&M 2, MSU 0.
61' - Colvin took a shot from 13 yards out that deflected off two Mississippi State defenders before Russell finished it off from three yards out. A&M 3, MSU 0.
The Aggies hit the road for a 6 p.m. contest against the Tennessee Volunteers next Friday in Knoxville.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On their offensive performance...
"This is still our fourth game of the season, and every game we have gotten a little bit better with our timing and service to each other. The two goals in the first half were both nice buildups in the way that we got in, but we were able to put the ball into a better space. Early on in the game, I thought that we were forcing the ball in a little bit too tight to the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper had a great game. If it hadn't been for some big saves by the Mississippi State goalkeeper, it could have been really lopsided. We got to give her and their defense a lot of credit for clearing a couple of balls off the line. We had some special nights for Ali Russell, who got her first college goal and Jordan Burbank, who got her first college shutout. That's a big deal, too, because she was really good tonight."
On Barbara Olivieri being able to find the right plays...
"She has a lot of flare and a lot of confidence because she has great abilities. She has played at a high level, at the international level and as well as the highest level of youth ball. Olivieri fits in well with what her teammates are doing. She is not a person who I going to take the game over by herself, but she is a great compliment to Addie McCain, Ali Russell, and the other players that are in her vicinity. She can definitely snap a ball on goal."
Sophomore forward Ali Russell On A&M's offensive performance...
"We worked hard on finishing in tight spaces because they do pack so many of their players into the box and on their half. We worked to keep possession of the ball and our attacking third needed to get close every chance to the goal."
On Barbara Olivieri...
"Barb is incredibly talented and knows the game of soccer so well. It comes as no shock that she knows what she is doing and knows her timing. She knows where she needs to be and when she needs to be there. Then puts it away, which is the finishing touch."
On scoring her first career goal...
"It has been a waiting game. It felt amazing and was so special, especially to have everyone coming over screaming to me. It's such a rush to know everyone is running to me this time."
Freshman forward Barbara Oliveri
On the team's offensive performance... "I thought from the start we were attacking. We wanted those goals. They had a lot of people in the middle and it felt crowded. But we got the cross we had been working in and LG [Lauren Geczik] had a great pass from the middle to put one away."
On the set up of her two goals...
"Since it was crowded, we had a push back line. So, it was a great ball and we talked about it and being able to play it to the penalty spot. We were able to get a first time hit on that. The second goal I knew it was going to bounce off of her weird, so I just got there and hoped it would go it."