Soccer falls to Texas A&M in College Station
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Despite holding a 1-0 lead at halftime and keeping possession in A&M's end during the second half, the Horns could not hold on as the Aggies converted three of their five second-period shots and No. 10 Texas (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) lost a tough 3-1 match to No. 15 Texas A&M (3-2, 1-0 Big 12) in front of a record attendance of 5,384 fans at the Aggie Soccer Complex on Friday, Sept. 10. Notably, while the match marked the conference-opener for both schools, it also began the Lone Star Showdown competition between the two schools.
The match began with both sides trying to find an early rhythm and attempting to get possession consistently. Then, less than eight minutes into the contest, Texas gained the first opportunity of the game and converted it to grab a 1-0 lead. Nikki Thaden (Clive, Iowa) was fouled outside of the penalty area, lobbed the ensuing free kick into the six-yard line where a header by Kelly McDonald (Littleton, Colo.) was blocked and the rebound found the foot of Amy Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who fired a shot inside the right post from 10 yards out for her first goal of the year. Two minutes later, Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas) settled a volley in inside the Aggies' penalty area and rocketed a shot past A&M goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak that just missed giving UT a 2-0 advantage as it rang off the right post. Texas A&M would try for the equalizer minutes later as Carrie Berend fired a shot from outside the Horns' penalty area that was deflected straight up into the air inside the six by UT defender Julie Gailey (San Ramon, Calif.), allowing Texas goalkeeper Dana Hall (Kingwood, Texas) to corral the loose ball. While Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Texas) would manage another dangerous chance inside the final two minutes, Spisak came up with the save to keep the match at 1-0 in favor of Texas at halftime.
In the second period, A&M had the early pressure with Cristina Echavarry fired a shot from the left flank less than five minutes in, but Hall had the answer to keep UT on top by one. Texas answered by keeping pressure in the A&M end, but it was the Aggies who managed to knot the score at 1-1 at 55:33 when Laura Probst bent a corner kick inside the far post. Then, in the 63rd minute, Ashlee Pistorius corralled a volley from Becky Olson and chipped a shot in the box over the head of Hall to give A&M its first lead of the game at 2-1. The score remained that way until the 74th minute when Probst struck again by gaining some space on a rush at the top of the penalty area and firing a shot past Hall and inside the right post for a 3-1 Aggies lead. The A&M defense then made the two-goal lead stand over the final 16 minutes of action to close out the victory. Picking up the win in goal was Spisak, who had three saves on the night, and Hall incurred the loss despite posting a pair of saves herself.
While Burlingham, who scored Texas' lone goal on the night, and the tandem of McDonald and Carpenter combined for seven shots to lead the UT offense, A&M's attack was led by Probst who converted both of her shots on goal and recorded a four-point night.
The Horns will return to action on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Central when they host Tulane at Myers Stadium.