Soccer falls to Texas A&M in Big 12 Championship
SAN ANTONIO -- The Longhorns attempted to rally from a 2-0 deficit for the second time in as many matches, but could not dent the Aggies' defense as No. 21 Texas (13-6-2) dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 8 Texas A&M (17-5) in front of 2,707 fans during the championship game of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 7.
The two teams locked into a defensive struggle early as both defenses limited the chances of each offense and goalkeepers Alex Gagarin (Austin, Texas) for UT and Kati Jo Spisak for A&M made three and one saves, respectively, to keep the scoreless tie in tact. A&M then received the first quality chance for either side in the 27th minute when Ashlee Pistorius was tripped in the box to set up a penalty kick. Laura Probst would take the kick for the Aggies, but her shot sailed high to keep the game tied. The respective offenses then began to create some space in the 33rd minute as Nikki Thaden (Clive, Iowa) took a corner kick that Kristen Teter (Kingwood, Texas) headed toward the far post that Spisak made a diving save on. Immediately following that chance, A&M raced to the other end and Pistorius redirected a cross from Allison Martino past Gagarin for a 1-0 Aggies lead.
Quickly trying to answer, UT put another header shot on goal seconds after the A&M goal, but again Spisak came up with a diving save to maintain the lead. Over the remaining minutes of the first period, the Horns continued to pressure the Aggies' net, but couldn't break through despite winning the shot differential by a 10-8 margin.
The second half began much the same way as the first with neither side gaining an upper hand in terms of possession, but A&M received a break at 60:15 when an A&M cross from the end line on a counter deflected off a UT defender and into the back of the Texas net for a 2-0 Aggies' lead. Finding themselves down by two for the second straight match, the Longhorns attempted to rally by creating space in the offensive end, but they could not cut into the deficit before Kat Krambeer scored with under six minutes to go to make it a 3-0 game in favor of A&M. While Texas continued to attack, the Aggies defense and Spisak kept the UT offense in check over the waning minutes to cap off the victory and claim their third Big 12 Tournament title. While Spisak earned the win in net for A&M, Gagarin incurred the loss for UT despite making six stops on the afternoon.
Wilson led the Horns shot attack by tallying four of the team's 15 shots on the day, while the Aggies were headlined by the duo of Madison Klovstad and Pistorius, who combined for seven shots, including four on goal, and one score. Notably for Texas, the trio of Wilson, Caitlin Kennedy (Euless, Texas) and Teter were each named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team and Wilson was selected as the tournament's Offensive MVP after scoring three goals and assisting on two others over three tourney contests.
The Longhorns will now await the announcement of the 64-team field for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which will come on Monday, Nov. 8 at 3:30 p.m. Central. Of note, the selection show for the NCAA tournament will be carried live on ESPN News.
2004 Big 12 Conference Tournament All-Tournament Team
Defensive Most Valuable Player - Kati Jo Spisak, Texas A&M