COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Shea Groom registered her first career hat trick to lead the No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies to a 3-1 win over the UMass Minutewomen at Ellis Field on Friday evening.
Groom netted the Aggies’ first hat trick since September 18, 2011 when Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue both did the deed in a 13-1 pasting of the Fordham Rams at Ellis Field.
Bianca Brinson supplied assist on each of Groom’s first two goals and Liz Keester offered the assistance on the third tally.
Groom delivered a one-two punch scoring two goals in 59 seconds to stake the Aggies to a 2-0 lead with 27:34 remaining in the first half. On her first goal, Groom took a feed from Brinson at the arc and worked her way to the penalty spot where she delivered a shot to the right of the keeper to break the scoring seal. Her next goal came when UMass goalie Danielle Kriscenski was unable to corral a shot from Brinson. Groom collected the carom just inches from Kriscenski’s mitts and sent it to the back of the net.
The Minutewomen trimmed the A&M lead in half in the 33rd minute of action. UMass took advantage of a poor clearance by the Aggies and Rebekka Sverrisdottir delivered a pass to Brittany Moore at the top of the penalty box. With A&M netminder Jordan Day off her line, Moore lobbed a shot over the leaping goalie to cut the lead to 2-1.
Groom added an insurance goal in the 80th minute. Keester worked the ball into the penalty box and sent a pass to Groom eight yards out on the left post. The junior completed the hat trick sending a shot past a diving goalkeeper into the right side netting for the 3-1 advantage.
Texas A&M dictated the terms of play throughout the contest, logging a 32-8 edge in shots, including 14-2 in the opening half. The Aggies also owned a 13-2 advantage in shots-on-goal and a 7-2 margin in corner kicks for the contest.
Day made two saves in goal for the Aggies, both in the second half, to pick up her 36th career win in goal.
Kriscenski made 10 saves in goal for UMass in the losing effort.
The Aggies return to action on Sunday when they host the Cal Poly Mustangs in a 7 pm match at Ellis Field.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach G Guerrieri
Opening Statement: “I’m pleased that we won. I thought that we looked going through the midfield. It’s nice having Shea (Groom) finding space around the goal. You can really see how dangerous she can be. Kelley (Monogue) and she can really be dangerous around the goal. I like how every half of a game that they play, they get more and more comfortable with each other. I thought Janae Cousineau had a really nice night tonight, too. My hat’s off to UMass. They came in here and played a heck of a game today. I thought their goalkeeper had some really nice saves. We were a little impatient at times with our entry passes, but all-in-all, I’ll take the victory every time.”
On Shea Groom: “She’s such a special athlete that she’s able to pounce on balls. The third goal came on a great combination of Liz (Keester) to the weak side with her non-dominant foot. The first goal was a very similar type goal. The other one was a free ball she was able to get to before the goalkeeper could. All of those go along with her being a really dangerous player and that’s because of her athletic ability, but also her hunger and technical ability. It’s nice seeing her and Kelley in that part of the field.”
On all the festivities on campus before the game on Sunday: “It’s a big distraction, I’ll be honest. The hard part about it is we have a very big game ourselves on Sunday against the team (Cal Poly) with the No. 1 ranked attack and scorer in the country. That’s a big game for us.”
Junior Forward Shea Groom
On her performance: “It’s an exciting game. It’s good to get our first win of the weekend. We’re really looking for two. I was lucky enough to be in the right position at the right time. The coaches made a good decision of putting me at center-mid and I think I got a lot of opportunities. It was a great pass from Liz on the last goal. We’re just really happy for the win.”
On the matchup with Cal Poly on Sunday: “They’re a good team. They come in as the No. 1 attacking team with the top goal-scorer, but we’re ready. We’re a deep team and we’re going to come at them with everything we have.”