COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Aggie Soccer team captured the Texas A&M Invitational title with a 1-0 win over Saint Mary's at Ellis Field on Sunday afternoon.
Texas A&M and Saint Mary's both entered the fray coming off wins on Friday evening with the No. 17 Aggies defeating No. 16 Rutgers, 4-1, and the Gaels dismissing Sam Houston State 1-0.
Despite the narrow margin of victory, Texas A&M dominated the possession and the offensive threats on Sunday. The Aggies owned wide advantages in shots (28-5), shots on goal (12-3) and corner kicks (8-2).
Texas A&M's defense imposed its will in the contest holding the Gaels without a shot for the first 60:52 of play.
With a blank slate through the first 82 minutes of play, the Aggies broke the scoring seal in the 83rd. Jayne Eadie had been providing steady offensive pressure late in the second half and it finally paid off with 7:33 remaining in the game. Eadie unleashed a shot from 10 yards out that was blocked by Saint Mary's starting netminder Khayla Jones. The carom bounced back to Eadie who unloaded on another shot towards the left post. Allie Bailey, standing three yards from the post, redirected the shot into the back of the net for her second goal of the weekend.
Texas A&M had a chance to add to the lead with less than two minutes remaining, but Annie Kunz hit a laser off the left post from eight yards out.
The Aggies left the first half empty-handed despite inflicting steady pressure on the offensive end. Texas A&M owned a 14-0 advantage on shots in the first half, including a 4-0 edge in shots on goal. Eadie put the first two shots on frame for Texas A&M. She offered balls with pace in both the eighth and 15th minutes of action, but was turned away. Kelley Monogue came off the bench to put shot on goal in the 23rd minute, but to no avail. The best threat came in the 40th minute when Catalina Clavijo unfurled a shot from 15 yards out, but Jones was able to punch the ball over the crossbar.
Texas A&M continued to dictate the play in the second half, unloading on 10 shots before finally registering a goal.
After seeing relatively little action through the first hour of play, Jordan Day made three saves down the stretch to tally the shutout in goal for Texas A&M.
Bailey, Kunz and Meghan Streight each had five goals for Texas A&M. Bailey and Eadie both logged four shots on goal.
The Aggies landed six players on the Texas A&M Invitational All-Tournament Team, including tournament MVP Allie Bailey. Bailey scored one goal in each of the games, including the lone goal in Sunday's contest. Other Aggies on the all-tournament team included goalkeeper Jordan Day, defenders Lyndsey Gnatzig and Rachel Lenz, midfielder Meghan Streight and forward Kelley Monogue.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies host the No. 11 Long Beach State 49ers in a 6 p.m. contest at Ellis Field. The game will be televised on the Fox Soccer Channel as the NSCAA College Game of the Week.
GK - Jordan Day, Texas A&M
D - Lyndsey Gnatzig, Texas A&M
D - Rachel Lenz, Texas A&M
D - Brielle Buis, Rutgers
M - Tricia Mallory, Sam Houston State
M - Meghan Streight, Texas A&M
M - Katy Roby, Saint Mary's
F - Rachel Cole, Rutgers
F - Christina Tognetti, Saint Mary's
F - Kelley Monogue, Texas A&M
F - Allie Bailey, Texas A&M - MVP
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerreri
On today's play: You play a California team in Texas on Sunday and it should be to your advantage. They were brave the whole day. They had some big saves by their goalkeeper as well as some misses by us. They were organized and pressed us in some tough spots. We had 28 shots. You hope to finish off some more of those chances but in the end it's a win and we get a chance to move on. It's another shutout for our defense which is something we can clearly build on. I was proud to see our captain, Jayne Eadie playing a big part in getting the win.
On having a lot of shots with no goals early on: They were giving us a lot of long shots early. I think had the ball been a yard to the left or the right on the shot it would've given the goalkeeper a lot of trouble. There was one that Jayne hit early on that actually swerved back into their goalkeeper. It was a little bit unfortunate. We're not going to get angry for taking shooting chances. We'd like to try and get them in the most dangerous parts of the field. If someone gets it and feels like they can hit it then they usually have a great night.
On the play of the defense: On thing we can definitely take away from today's game is the defensive play. Rachel Lenz and Jackie Tondl did a good job of keeping them from getting good passes through the back line. We trusted the defense which allowed us to bring more players up on the attack later in the game.
On the overall play this weekend: We're getting closer to where we need to be. We're not at mid-season form yet, evident by today's statistics. We're getting used to winning which is a good characteristic to have on this team. We've still got two very big games to go before we start SEC play. We play Long Beach State who is number 11 in the country on Friday. Then we finish off the weekend with Central Michigan. Central Michigan beat West Virginia, who beat the defending national champion Stanford. Those are going to be two very tough games. I'm glad we have those two tough games before we start conference play. I thought Rutgers was a good challenge on Friday, but we have two more good opportunities coming into town next weekend.
Junior midfielder Jayne Eadie
On assisting on Allie Bailey's goal: A goal is a goal. I haven't scored in about 10 years so if you give it to me I'll take it. It was one of those days where their keeper was getting on everything and we knew if we could get one in the back of the net that we could get the win. Our fitness definitely kicked in the last eight minutes. We just kept possession and kept pushing on.
On intensifying the attack in the second half: We played three at the back because we trusted our defenders. We had to get the win. That's what it's all about. It doesn't matter how many you win by, just as long as we got the win. Our speed down the flanks and in the box definitely helped us get the win today.
On the results this weekend: We're excited. We didn't start off too great, but we're getting to where we want to be. We're getting better in all phases of the game. We're controlling the game. We're passing better. We're getting our shots on goal. We just want to win.
- aTm -