COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies exploded for four second-half goals, including three on set pieces, to register a 4-0 win over the Cal Poly at Ellis Field on Sunday evening.
With the win, Texas A&M improved to 5-2-1 on the season. Cal Poly dropped to 4-2-0.
After a scoreless first half, the Aggies pounced on the Mustangs early in the second half. In the fourth minute of the stanza, the Aggies reset the offense after a corner kick and Shea Groom sent the ball to Monogue at the left corner of the penalty box and Monogue sent a cross into Bianca Brinson at the top of the six-yard box. Brinson, who was decleated by a Cal Poly defender, knocked the ball to Keester and the freshman roofed a shot from the penalty spot for the 1-0 lead.
Six minutes later, Meghan Streight launched a free kick in from 20 yards out to the right post. The shot was saved by a leaping Cal Poly netminder, Alyssa Giannetti, but she was unable to control the ball and Monogue seized the loose ball and sent it to the back of the net from six yards.
Groom added her fourth goal of the weekend on a penalty kick in the 57th minute of action. Groom set up the penalty kick by busting out on a breakaway down the center of the pitch. Cal Poly defender Braelyn Fetsch took Groom down in the box and was subsequently issued a red card. The goalkeeper guessed one way and Groom went the other to convert on the penalty kick for the 3-0 lead.
The cavalcade of goals ended in the 69th minute. Karlie Mueller weaved down the right side of the pitch and dumped a pass into Monogue 20 yards out. The Mustangs’ backup goalkeeper Heather Rouhier had drifted to the right post and Monogue capitalized by launching a shot from 18 yards out to the left of Rouhier for her sixth goal of the season.
The Aggies dominated the second-half stats, posting a 21-2 edge in shots, 10-1 margin in shots-on-goal and a 7-2 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
Monogue ended the game with 35 career goals to pass Kristen Strutz (34 -2000-03) for seventh place on A&M’s all-time goals list.
Jordan Day made two saves in 68 minutes of action and Renee McDermott played the final 22 minutes to give Texas A&M its third shutout of the season.
The Aggies’ backline of Mueller, Streight, Rachel Lenz, Leigh Edwards and substitutes Jackie Tondl and Grace Wright held the nation’s leading goal scorer Elise Krieghoff to just two shots and one shot-on-goal for the game. Krieghoff entered the contest with 10 goals through five matches.
Texas A&M begins SEC play next Friday when the Aggies travel to Knoxville for a 6 pm contest against the Tennessee Volunteers.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
Opening Statement: “I thought it was a good weekend. We got seven goals this weekend and we could’ve had even more. I thought our shot selection tonight was better than it has been in the past. I was pleased on our set pieces. They’re starting to look a lot better. We’ve traditionally been very good with those. Shea Groom and Kelley Monogue really continue to play really well. We have several players who are battling ailments, but I thought our fitness was excellent tonight. The girls look fresh. The offense in the second half was really nice to see.”
On holding Cal Poly’s offense to two shots-on-goal: “Give all the credit to Meghan Streight and Rachel Lenz. They were able to sort things out back there and know what they wanted to do and they were able to adjust. Grace Wright had another really good night. We put her in a little bit of a different situation and she was outstanding. I was very pleased with Leigh Edwards and Karlie Mueller and what they were able to do on the outside. We gave up very few crossing situations. “
Junior forward Kelley Monogue
On how they attacked the defense in the second half: “We figured out that on goal kicks they spread out their defense so we adjusted to that. We knew we weren’t putting up enough pressure in the midfield so we added more pressure there.”
Senior defender Rachel Lenz
On the defensive game plan: “We focused on what we were good at and what we’ve been working on this whole preseason. It’s starting to fit together. All the girls on the backline are working together and committing to the plan. We all trust each other back there, that’s what makes it work.”