COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies fell behind in the fourth minute of action, but battled back for a 3-1 win against the Auburn Tigers in SEC action Friday evening at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
Auburn drew first blood in the fourth minute of action. At midfield, Kala Faulkner knocked a pass to Casie Ramsier who offered a lob service that Tori Ball chased down in the penalty box. Ball fired a shot from 10 yards out to beat Aggie netminder Jordan Day to the left side.
Texas A&M evened the match at 1-1 in the 10th minute. Bianca Brinson tossed a throw-in into the penalty box and after the ball went unclaimed on the first bounce, Shea Groom knocked a header into the six-yard box where Allie Bailey was able to drive a shot into the back of the net for the equalizer.
The teams went into the intermission tied at 1-1 despite various chances to score. Forty seconds after Bailey’s goal, Day made a diving save of a shot by Ball to keep the scored tied. For A&M, Liz Keester ripped a shot from 15 yards out in the 13th minute that Auburn netminder Alicen Wright had to make a leaping save on in the 12th minute. Wright also made a jumping save on a shot that Groom rocketed from 30 yards out in the 28th minute. With 90 seconds remaining in the first half, Meghan Streight got her head on a free kick offering from Karlie Mueller but it sailed a yard left of the goal.
The Aggies owned advantages in shots (10-5), shots-on-goal (7-4) and corner kicks (4-2) in the opening stanza.
Brinson and Bailey each recorded quality shots in the beginning of the second half, but the Aggies were unable to stake claim to a lead until the 68th minute when Leigh Edwards rifled a shot from 25 yards out she bulls-eyed through a hole between the hands of a jumping Wright and the crossbar for the 2-1 lead.
The Aggies put the match out of reach in the 86th minute when Groom skirted a pass through two defenders to Annie Kunz at the right corner of the six-yard box. Kunz launched the ball into the far side-netting for the 3-1 advantage. With the goal, Kunz became the 11th player in school history to log 30 career goals.
Texas A&M (8-3-1, 3-1-0 SEC) owned advantages in all the offensive categories, including 20-13 in shots, 10-6 in shots-on-goal and 10-6 in corner kicks.
Day went the distance in goal for the Aggies, making four saves and winning the ball in the air on three of six corner kick opportunities for Auburn. It marked the 40th career win in goal for Day.
The Aggies return to action on Sunday when they travel to Columbia for a 1 pm match against the Missouri Tigers.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach G Guerrieri
Thoughts on the match: We’ve always talked about how winning on the road, once you start conference play, is always a massive challenge. Falling behind 1-0 three minutes into the match definitely compounded that challenge. It showed the character, grit and belief of this team. It was a nice goal by Allie (Bailey) to tie it up early and let us settle back into the match. After a couple of adjustments at halftime we got two great goals, one by Leigh (Edwards) from distance and the second one with a nice set-up by Shea (Groom) for a goal by Annie (Kunz).
On players making adjustments throughout the match: I was really proud of a lot of players who were able to be versatile and make adjustments. Allie (Bailey) made the first shot for us playing on the attack in the first half and was able to come back and help us in the midfield in the second half. Grace (Wright) gave us a good effort in the midfield in the second half and then helped shut things down on the defensive end in the second half. We’ve been playing with some injuries the last few weeks, so this is giving players a chance to step up to the challenge and prove themselves in different areas.