COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies scored three first-half goals to derail Vanderbilt en route to a 3-0 win over the Commodores in SEC action Sunday afternoon at Ellis Field.
It capped off an historic weekend for the Aggies who combined to outscore Vanderbilt and Friday’s foe Mississippi State by a combined 11-0 margin. The 11-goal scoring differential matched the highest ever for Texas A&M in a league weekend, equaling the 1996 season when they beat Texas Tech (8-0) and Baylor (3-0) in weekend of Big 12 action.
Texas A&M drew first blood in the 17th minute of action. Karlie Mueller launched a free kick into the six-yard box from 30 yards out and found the head of Shea Groom who knocked it in for her eighth goal of the season.
Mueller notched her second assist of the match in the 26th minute when she sent a long pass into the box from the right touchline. Bianca Brinson got her head on the service and knocked a shot off the extended leg of a Commodore defender and into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead. It marked Brinson’s first goal of the season.
Brinson set up the Aggies’ third goal when she was upended in the penalty box by Vanderbilt defender Taylor Richardson in the 37th minute. Allie Bailey took the penalty kick and converted when Commodore goalkeeper Olivia Liebman guessed the wrong way.
The Aggies held decisive advantages in all of the offensive categories in the first half, including shots (17-4), shots-on-goal (8-2) and corner kicks (3-0), as they took a 3-0 lead into the intermission.
Texas A&M (7-3-1, 2-1-0 SEC) continued to get scoring chances in the second half, but were unable to extend the lead. The Maroon and White once again posted advantages in shots (9-4), shots-on-goal (4-2) and corner kicks (3-0) in the second stanza.
Mueller ended the weekend with five assists with four of the five coming on set pieces, with three free kick offerings and one corner kick serving.
Jordan Day went the distance in goal to record her third shutout of the season and the 26th of her career. She made four saves, including two of the diving variety.
Vanderbilt (3-6-2, 0-3-0) had two goalkeepers see action. Liebman started the contest and made five saves while allowing three goals in 45 minutes of action. Shannon Morrish made four saves and did not yield a goal in the second half.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies head to Alabama for a 7 pm match against the Auburn Tigers.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach G Guerrieri
Opening Statement: “Last weekend was a disappointing 1-0 loss on the road on a penalty kick. This weekend was the kind of response you could expect from a Texas A&M team. We got two wins and were able to put ourselves in a good state of mind as we continue our quest through the SEC. I give my coaching staff a ton of credit for the way they went about their sessions this week. We really diversified the way we wanted to set up scoring chances. If you look at the box scores from the weekend, it’s clear we were able to score in a variety of ways.”
On the offensive output this weekend: “What we’ve seen from our team this year, if we can score one, we can score a bunch. With the exception of the first game this year which we won, 1-0, once we get it going, it’s a pretty dangerous group coming at you.”
Sophomore defender Karlie Mueller
On her five assists this weekend: “It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling when I can get forward and take those chances. I’m thankful that I have the great forwards that I do that can capitalize on the opportunities.”
On the defensive play thus far through the season: “It’s great. Last year we set the school record with 15 shutouts, so we want to play that well this year. It’s great to come back this season with a solid back line. Even with Rachel Lenz out, we have quality players we can put back there. I think it’s worked out pretty well thus far.”