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Aggies Play Gamecocks in SEC Semifinal Friday

November 07, 2013
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – No. 21 Texas A&M looks to advance to its first-ever SEC Tournament championship match on Friday night when the Aggies battle the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks in semifinal action at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. Both squads posted shutouts in quarterfinal play as A&M blanked Auburn 1-0 and the Gamecocks knocked off Georgia, 4-0. The two teams did not meet during the 2013 season, but the Aggies beat South Carolina in a pair of meetings last year, including a 1-0 overtime win in the SEC Tournament quarterfinal round. The winner will face either Florida or Ole Miss in the championship match on Sunday.

Friday’s match will be streamed live on ESPN3. Live stats may be found at SECDigitalNetwork.com. Every match this season will feature free live audio on RadioAggieland and AggieAthletics.com.

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The Aggies are 2-1 all-time in the SEC Tournament, including their 1-0 win over Auburn on Wednesday afternoon.

In 2012, A&M advanced to the semifinal with a 1-0 overtime win against South Carolina. In the 94th minute, Jayne Eadie scored on a rebound off a Allie Bailey shot. Jordan Day made two saves in the shutout. In the semifinal match last year, the Maroon and White bowed out with a 2-0 loss to Auburn, despite holding a 19-6 advantage in shots. The Tigers scored both goals in the second half with tallies by Maddie Barnes and Tatiana Coleman. It took a heroic effort by Amy Howard who made nine saves in goal and the Tigers added a pair of team saves by the defense to preserve the shutout.

At 15-4-1, the Aggies secured their 10th consecutive 15-win season dating back to 2004. In their 21 seasons, the only two years the Aggies have not reached the 15-win plateau are 1998 (14-8) and 2003 (13-6-3). The school record for victories stands at 20, set in 2002 with a 20-5-1 mark.

·    Rachel Lenz leads active Aggies in conference tournament matches with eight appearances, including two in 2010, three in 2011, two in 2012 and one this season.
·    Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue lead active Aggies in scoring with five points each on two goals and one assist. Allie Bailey has four points one goal and two assists.
·    Jordan Day has recorded four shutouts in six conference tournament matches, including a 1-0 shutout against Oklahoma State in the 2011 Big 12 Championship game.

The Aggies feature the most balanced offensive attack in the SEC. A&M is the only team in the league with four players to log at least six goals on the season. The Aggies are headlined by Shea Groom with 12 goals, followed by Allie Bailey with eight goals, Liz Keester with seven goals and Kelley Monogue with six. A&M and Arkansas are the only SEC teams with six players with at least 10 points on the year. Groom leads the Maroon and White with 29 points, followed by Bailey (20), Keester (18), Monogue (16), Bianca Brinson (12) and Karlie Mueller (10).

Rachel Lenz is one of the most experienced players in NCAA Division I. Entering the SEC Tournament, Lenz ranked 23rd in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 87 matches. She trails only Florida’s Taylor Travis (90), South Carolina’s Danielle Au (89) and Gabrielle Gilbert (88) and Auburn’s Maddie Barnes (88).

Jordan Day enters the weekend with a 47-15-4 record between the pipes and ranks fourth on A&M’s career win list. With her next win she will tie Kristin Arnold (2006-10) for third place on the Aggies’ career win list with 48. Kati Jo Spisak owns the school record with her 69-21-6 mark from 2002-05. Melanie Wilson (1996-99) ranks second with 66 wins. Day posted a 13-6-2 mark as a freshman and followed it up with a 19-5-1 mark last year.

Texas A&M has logged three or more goals in a half on five occasions this season. The Aggies scored five goals in a half on two occasions, including the second half against San Diego and the first half against Mississippi State. The Maroon and White notched four goals in the second half against Cal Poly. A&M scored three goals in the second half against Mississippi State and the first half against Vanderbilt.

After scoring 18 goals in the first nine matches of the season (2.00 gpm), the Aggies have erupted to tally 31 goals over the last 11 (2.82 gpm), all against SEC opposition. The Aggies have scored at least three goals in six of the last 11 matches, including eight against Mississippi State (8-0), four against Arkansas (4-3, ot) and three each against Vanderbilt (3-0), Auburn (3-1), Alabama (3-0) and LSU (3-2). Over the span, Shea Groom leads the team in scoring with 19 points on seven goals and five assists. Allie Bailey has 18 points on seven goals and four assists. Liz Keester has added four goals and two assists and Karlie Mueller has a team-high six assists during the run.

The Aggies have a tradition of success at conference tournaments with an overall mark of 24-11-4 in league tournaments.

A&M posted a 23-10-4 record at the Big 12 Championship and won the title in five of the tournament’s first 16 years. The Aggies won titles in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2011.

Current A&M standouts Annie Kunz, Kelley Monogue and Meghan Streight were all named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team in 2011 as the Maroon and White captured their fifth tournament title. The run included a tie against Kansas, 3-3, advancing on PKs, and wins against Missouri (3-0) and Oklahoma State (1-0) in the championship match.

The Aggies’ 2005 championship run opened with a win against Missouri (3-1) followed by victories over Nebraska (4-2) and Colorado (2-1).

In 2004, A&M outscored Oklahoma State, Colorado and Texas by a combined 9-1 margin including a 3-0 win over the Longhorns in the championship match.

The Aggies won the 2001 title with three one-goal wins, including an OT win over Oklahoma in the quarterfinal (1-0), followed by wins over Nebraska (3-2) and Texas (1-0).
In 1997, the Maroon and White needed just two wins to capture the crown, posting 3-1 wins over both Texas and Nebraska.

With her assist on a Shea Groom goal in the first half against Alabama, Kelley Monogue moved into ninth place on A&M’s career points. She now owns 83 career points and next on the list is Melissa Garey with 91 points between 2004-07.

With her two goals against Cal Poly, Kelley Monogue passed Kristen Strutz (34 - 2000-03) for seventh place on A&M’s career goals list with 35. The next targets on the list will be No. 6 Heather Ragsdale (37 - 1999-2002) and No. 5 Melissa Garey (39 - 2004-07). Ashlee Pistorius owns the school career record with 81 goals from 2004-07.

The McKinney native ranks 23rd among all active NCAA Division I players with her 35 goals and sixth among non-seniors. Monogue scored 19 goals as a freshman and added 10 more in her sophomore campaign when she was hindered by injury.

With her goal in the Aggies’ 3-1 win against Auburn, Annie Kunz became the 11th player in school history to reach the 30-goal plateau for their career. The junior forward has nine points on the year with four goals and one assist. For her career, Kunz has notched 71 points on 31 goals and nine assists. As a freshman, Kunz logged 35 points on 14 goals and seven assists. Last season, the Golden, Colorado native notched 27 points on 13 goals and one assist.

Kelley Monogue has two multi-goal matches on the season, with two-goal efforts against both San Diego and Cal Poly. For her career, Monogue has logged multiple goals in 11 matches. Last season, she did the deed on three occasions with two goals apiece against Rutgers, Kentucky and Arkansas. As a freshman, Monogue rattled off six multi-goal efforts, including a hat trick against Fordham and two-goal matches against McNeese State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Drake and Oklahoma. The Texas Tech, Drake and Oklahoma efforts were in consecutive matches.

The Aggies had an eight-match conference win streak snapped by the Florida Gators. It marked their longest as a member of the SEC. Last season, A&M won its first four games to start SEC play. The streak also marked their longest conference win streak since winning eight matches in a row in Big 12 play from Sept 26 to Oct 24, 2010. The school record is a 14-game win streak in Big 12 action between Oct 4, 1996 and Oct 10, 1997. A&M also boasts a 12-match Big 12 win streak between Oct 21 2005 and Oct 22 2006, a nine-match Big 12 win streak between Oct 11, 1998 and Aug 29, 1999 and an eight-match Big 12 win streak from Oct 19, 2001 and Oct 6, 2002.

With her three-goal performance in the Aggies’ 3-1 win over UMass, Shea Groom posted the first hat trick of her career and the 33rd in the history of the program. She logged the Aggies’ first hat trick since Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue both did the deed in a 13-1 win over Fordham. Groom, Kunz and Monogue are the only active Aggies to own a hat trick, with Kunz having two of them, including three-goal efforts against both Fordham and McNeese State in 2011. The school record for goals in a game are Ashlee Pistorius, who logged four goals on two occasions against Baylor (10/28/05 & 11/2/07), and Yvette Okler, who notched four goals against Texas (10/31/93). Bryn Blalack has the most hat tricks in school history with six and Pistorius ranks second with five.

Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri ranks among the Top 10 in both winning percentage and victories among Division I coaches. With a career record of 369-117-26 (.746), he ranks sixth in winning percentage (minimum five years as a Division I head coach) and seventh in victories, passing SMU’s Chris Petrucelli during the 2012 campaign and catching William & Mary’s John Daly this season (369). Guerrieri is looking to make up ground on James Madison’s David Lombardo (370) who stands in seventh place on the victories list.

The Aggies have had a player record multiple-goal games on seven occasions in 2013. Shea Groom leads the team with three multiple-goal matches and Kelley Monogue has registered a pair. Meghan Streight and Liz Keester have both added one. Groom logged a hat trick against UMass and two goals versus Mississippi State and Alabama. Monogue notched two goals in games against San Diego and Cal Poly. Streight recorded two goals against Mississippi State. Keester notched two goals against Arkansas, including a golden goal in overtime.

Last season Jordan Day set the A&M single-season shutout mark with 14, passing Ester Thompson who is listed as having 9.5 in 2001 and Melanie Wilson who is credited with 9.3 in 1999.  Day also registered nine shutouts in 2011 and her 28 career shutouts currently ranks second behind only Wilson (32). In 2012, Day ranked third in the nation in goalie minutes (2271:13) and led the country with 14 shutouts. She tied the SEC school record with seven consecutive shutouts.

In their first season in the SEC, the Aggies went 10-2-1 and won the SEC Western Division crown, in the last season the league will recognize divisional champions, in 2012. Texas A&M posted shutouts in eight of its 13 league matches, including the first four of the season. The Maroon and White outscored league opponents 29-7 and went unbeaten on the road with a 5-0-1 ledger. The blemishes to the Aggies’ record were provided by Kentucky (T, 2-2), Florida (L, 2-1) and Tennessee (L, 1-0).

The Aggies scored the only goal of the match in the 17th minute and played smothering defense for the remainder of the game to post a 1-0 win over the Auburn Tigers in the quarterfinal action of the 2013 SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament. Allie Bailey scored from 12 yards out launching a shot that deflected off an Auburn defender and into the right side netting. The Aggies held Auburn to seven shots for the match and the Tigers first shot-on-goal didn’t come until the 53rd minute. Jordan Day made one save and Karlie Mueller added a defensive save on the backline to preserve the shutout.

The Gamecocks enter the match as the top defensive team in the SEC. They own a 0.53 goals-against average allowing 11 goals in 20 matches. South Carolina is 16-2-2 on the season and finished third in the SEC with an 8-2-1 record. Eleven of South Carolina’s 16 wins are by one goal. The Gamecocks opened up league play with a loss at Georgia (2-0), but rebounded for five consecutive wins vs Auburn (2-1), Arkansas (1-0), Florida (2-1, 2ot), Tennesse (1-0, ot) and Alabama (2-1). After suffering blemishes at Missouri (L, 2-1) and Ole Miss (T, 1-1), Carolina closed out the regular season with wins against Vanderbilt (4-1), Mississippi State (1-0) and Kentucky (2-1). The opened up SEC Tournament action with a resounding 4-0 win over Georgia. The Gamecocks’ non-conference schedule included wins over UNC Wilmington (2-0), Duke (1-0), Northeastern (3-0), Clemson (2-1), SMU (2-0), USF (1-0) and East Carolina (1-0). The only non-conference misstep was a 0-0 tie at Boston. Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, playing every minute in goal for the Gamecocks. She owns a 0.53 goals against average and has posted 11 shutouts. Raina Johnson leads the team in scoring with 17 points on eight goals and one assist. Danielle Au has 14 points on six goals and two assists. Chelsea Drennan has a team-high 10 assists on the year.

The Aggies are 3-0 all-time against the Gamecocks. The two teams did not meet during the regular-season this year. Last season, A&M won two games against South Carolina, recording a pair of shutouts. In the regular-season, the Maroon and White logged a 2-0 win in College Station with Meghan Streight scoring on a header off a Jayne Eadie corner kick in the 25th minute and Annie Kunz putting in a shot from six yards out on an assist from Chelsea Jones in the 64th minute. The Aggies notched a 1-0 overtime win against South Carolina in quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament on an Eadie goal in the 94th minute. The teams first met in September of 2003 with A&M earning a 2-1 overtime win in College Station.

In the 20-year history of the program, Texas A&M owns a 33-9-3 record against teams who were members of the SEC at the time and a 48-15-3 mark against current members of the SEC. The ledger includes a 15-5-1 mark against former Big 12 foe Missouri. The Aggies own winning records against Alabama (4-1), Arkansas (4-1),  Auburn (3-1), Georgia (2-0), Kentucky (1-0-1), LSU (3-0-1), Mississippi State (2-0), Ole Miss (2-0), South Carolina (3-0) and Vanderbilt (5-0). The only SEC team Texas A&M has a losing record against is Tennessee (0-3). The Aggies are 4-4 all-time against Florida.

The Aggies won their 12th-and-final Big 12 Championship during the 2011 conference tournament. With just 15 seconds left in the Championship match, Tournament MVP and then-freshman Kelley Monogue weaved through three defenders and ricocheted a shot off of the left post that found then-senior Megan Majewski at 18 yards from goal. Majewski fired with nine seconds on the clock and netted the 1-0 goal against Oklahoma State to win the tournament. The Aggies were the only school in the conference to earn a Big 12 Tournament berth in the 16 years of its existence.

Since the 2008 season, the Aggies own a 19-0-4 mark against in-state rivals, including an 11-0-3 record against their former Big 12 Conference colleagues. A&M went a perfect 2-0 against in-state foes in 2012, winning the two games by a combined 3-0 margin with a 2-0 win vs. UTSA in the regular-season and a 1-0 win over Stephen F Austin in the opening round of the NCAA Championship. This season, Texas A&M is 1-0-1 against Lone Star foe, topping UTSA 1-0 in the second game of the season and tying Baylor 0-0 in the sixth game of the year.

Texas A&M owns a 198-29-6 (.863) all-time record at Ellis Field (formerly Aggie Soccer Stadium). The Maroon and White have called the field home since the 1994 season, playing the inaugural 1993 season at Old Tiger Field. Since 2005, the Aggies have registered a 81-11-7 mark on the friendly pitch.

Junior Meghan Streight was placed on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The award is the highest honor in collegiate soccer and will be given to a winner on Jan. 10. The field will be narrowed to 15 semifinalists in late November, and three finalists will be named in December.

The Aggies ranked No. 12 in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Preseason Rankings and placed five players on the publication’s SEC Top 20 List. Juniors Meghan Streight (No. 2), Annie Kunz (No. 3), Jordan Day (No. 5), Shea Groom (No. 17) and senior Rachel Lenz were named to the Top 20 Players to Watch list in the SEC according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The Aggies led the way with four players in the top-six and led all teams with five players named to the top-20 list.

Texas A&M finished the 2012 campaign tied with UCF for third in NCAA Division I with 15 shutouts on the season. Marquette and Florida State led the nation with 17 shutouts on the year. A&M finished tied for seventh in shutout percentage at .600 (15 shutouts in 25 games). Marquette led the nation at .739 (16 shutouts in 23 games). This season, the Aggies have seven shutouts in 20 matches.

Texas A&M junior goalkeeper Jordan Day was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week on September 9. The Gilbert, Arizona native was recognized for her efforts in a week in which she allowed just one goal in 200 minutes of action as the Aggies defeated San Diego, 6-1, on Friday and played No. 9 Baylor to a double-overtime, 0-0, draw on Sunday.

On Friday night, she registered the 35th victory of her career to move into a tie with Kelly Dyer (2007-10) for fifth place on A&M’s career list for goalkeeper wins. Day earned her second shutout of the season and the 25th of her career on Sunday, making six saves against the Bears and winning all four of Baylor’s corner kicks in the air. This marks Day’s second career SEC Defensive Player of the Week honor as she also earned the award on September, 24 2012.

On September 30, Karlie Mueller was recognized for her efforts in a week in which the Aggies were the only SEC team to record multiple shutouts, with an 8-0 win over Mississippi State and a 3-0 victory over Vanderbilt. The Sioux Falls, South Dakota native also provided a spark for the A&M offense with five assists on the weekend, including four on set pieces. All five of her well-placed services found the head of an Aggie.

In Friday night’s drubbing of Mississippi State, Mueller spearheaded a defense that held the Bulldogs without a shot-on-goal for the entire match and held All-SEC forward Elisabeth Sullivan to just one shot. She also served up three assists, including one on a corner kick and two on free kicks. On Sunday, Mueller offered up two more assists, including her third of the weekend on a free kick. The Aggie defense held Vanderbilt to four shots-on-goal for the match.

On October 14, Liz Keester was named the SEC Freshman of the Week, becoming the first Aggie to ever earn the honor. Keester earned the recognition following a two-goal performance in A&M’s only match of the week, a 4-3 overtime win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Keester opened the scoring in the third minute of action with a goal from 15 yards out and capped of the win with a golden goal from 20 yards out to extend the Aggies’ win streak to five matches.

Texas A&M’s G Guerrieri was named the SEC Coach of the Year according to a vote by the league’s head coaches. It marked the first-ever SEC Coach of the Year honor for Guerrieri who garnered Coach of the Year accolades on two occasions in the Big 12. The Aggies finished the regular-season with a 14-4-1 overall mark and they claimed an SEC regular-season crown with 27 points, on a 9-2-0 league ledger, to tie the Florida Gators for the top spot. After dropping the league opener at Tennessee, the Aggies’ went on a conference-best eight match win streak before losing to the Gators in Gainesville. The Maroon and White clinched a share of the title last Thursday with a 3-2 win over LSU at Ellis field. On October 20, Guerrieri recorded his 350th victory at Texas A&M with the Aggies’ 2-1 win at Georgia. He owns a 352-105-25 (.756) mark leading the Maroon and White charges. During his 22 years in College Station, he has led the Aggies to 18 NCAA Tournaments, 11 NCAA Sweet Sixteens, four NCAA Quarterfinals, eight conference regular-season titles and five conference tournament crowns.

A&M forward Liz Keester was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. In her first season in the Maroon and White, she ranks second on the team in both points (18) and goals (7). Having played in 19 games, including four starts, Keester has the game-winning goal on three occasions, including a dramatic golden goal in the Aggies’ 4-3 overtime win against Arkansas. She was named the SEC Rookie of the Week on October 14.

Texas A&M led the SEC with five players on the 27-player all-league squad. The Aggies had two players named All-SEC First Team, including midfielder Shea Groom and defender Meghan Streight. Goalkeeper Jordan Day, defender Leigh Edwards and midfielder Kelley Monogue garnered All-SEC Second Team. This marks the second honor for Groom, who last season was named an All-SEC Second Team performer at forward. Streight has earned all-conference recognition on three occasions, including All-SEC First Team status each of the last two years. Day earned her second All-SEC honor, gracing the First Team in 2012 when she was also a NSCAA All-South Region First Team performer. It was the first all-conference selection for Edwards. Nagged by a knee injury in 2012, Monogue missed out on All-SEC honors as a sophomore, but she dominated the awards circuit in 2011 as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Big 12 Rookie of the Year, All-Big 12 First Team, Big 12 Tournament Most Valuable Player, NSCAA All-Central Region First Team and Soccer America All-Freshman First Team.

A&M is the first team to register five All-SEC players in a year since Florida in 2010 and the only team to accomplish the feat in the 14-team era. They are only the sixth team to register at least five All-SEC players in a year. Vanderbilt set the mark with seven in 1995 when the league had 11 soccer-playing members. In the 12-team era, Florida registered five All-SEC players in 1996, 1999 and 2010 and Tennessee tallied five in 2004. After the Aggies’ five All-SEC honorees, Florida, Kentucky and LSU were the only other schools with more than two, checking in with three apiece. A&M, Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina were the only schools to have multiple first-teamers with the Gators boasting three to lead the way.

The Aggies’ 21-player roster features 11 upperclassmen, four sophomores and six freshmen. A&M’s squad is guided by two seniors. The team returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from a year ago.

The Aggies returned 188 of their 275 starts on the pitch from 2012 (68.4 percent). The bulk of lost starts were from graduated senior Lyndsey Gnatzig (25 starts) and Jayne Eadie (22). Other starts lost include Lindsey Witz (16), Beth West (13), Katie Perry (8) and Chelsea Jones (3). Returnees Jordan Day, Rachel Lenz and Meghan Streight started all 25 matches in 2012. Other returnees to log 20 or more starts, include Allie Bailey (23) and Shea Groom (23).

The Aggies welcome six freshmen and one senior transfer this season, in Taylor Saucier (Omaha, Neb.), Liz Keester (Tulsa, Okla.), Ashlynn Harryman (Dana Point, Calif.), Ana Cruz (San Diego, Calif.), Grace Wright (College Station, Texas), Sarah Shaw (Keller, Texas) and Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (Campo de Criptana, Spain).

Spanish native and former Aggie tennis standout Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar joined the squad for the 2013 season. She concluded her tennis eligibility by becoming A&M’s first two-time All-American. Sanchez-Quintanar was ranked as high as No. 3 during her senior campaign. She was also the first player in A&M history to win 40 or matches twice during a career. She went  81-15 with the Aggies and her .765 all-time winning percentage set a school record. In 2012-13, she went 41-9 overall and 27-7 against ranked opponents. As a junior, Sanchez-Quintanar went 40-6 overall, setting an A&M record for highest winning percentage in a season (.870). She transferred to A&M from Maryland where in her lone season she became the first Terp to ever advance to the NCAA round of 32.

Sanchez-Quintanar played in seven matches as a member of the Maryland Terrapins squad in 2010. She played 71 minutes of action as Maryland reached the finals of the ACC Championship, earned the NCAA No. 1 seed and finished 18-2-3.

This season, Sanchez-Quintanar has appeared in 10 matches, logging 210 minutes. She recorded her first career goal capping off the scoring in an 8-0 win over Mississippi State.


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