COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In front of a raucous Fish Camp Game crowd of 5,634, the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies were triumphant over the No. 18 UCF Knights, 3-0, at Ellis Field on Friday evening.
The victory gave Texas A&M a 3-0-0 start to a season for the first time since the 2006 campaign. The Aggies were able to overcome the absence of four starters who missed action due to various physical ailments.
Kelley Monogue led the Aggie arsenal, logging her second multi-goal effort of the season and the 13th of her career. The senior midfielder/forward tallied two goals and one assist, giving her 10 points on the year with four goals and two assists. She moved into a tie with Melissa Garey (2004-07) for fifth place on A&M’s career goals list with 39. She passed Garey (91) for eighth place on the career points list with 94.
Monogue went medieval on the Knights early in the contest, giving A&M a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of action. Freshman midfielder Stephanie Malherbe gathered the ball near the end line on the left side and darted a pass out to Monogue on the left corner of the penalty box. Monogue turned into space and sent a heavy ball low and inside the left post as the Aggies drew first blood.
In the 13th minute, Monogue served as the facilitator on a goal by senior midfielder Shea Groom. Monogue corralled the ball on the left side of the arc and scooted a pass out to Groom across the top of the penalty box. From 15 yards out on the right, Groom launched a missile past a diving UCF goalkeeper Connie Organ and inside the left post for the 2-0 advantage.
Monogue delivered the coup de grâce with 16 seconds left in the first half. The McKinney, Texas native bent in a corner kick that glanced off the mitt of the Knights’ netminder and into the goal for a 3-0 edge heading into the intermission.
Renee McDermott was stellar in goal for Texas A&M logging seven saves, including four in the second half, for her second consecutive shutout and the fourth of her career.
The statistics belied the nature of the contest. UCF owned an 18-13 advantage in shots, but a majority of the Knights’ arrows were fired from distance. UCF was also able to accumulate a 7-2 advantage on corner kicks, but only the Aggies could alchemize a set piece into a goal.
A&M returns to action Sunday when the Aggies host the unbeaten Illinois State Redbirds in a 1:30 pm contest at Ellis Field. ISU defeated Sam Houston State, 4-0, in a match that preceded the Aggies’ victory.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On the game…
“That’s a good win. UCF is a well-coached and very talented team. They are going to win a lot of games this season, which obviously will benefit us. I thought it was a really well-managed game by our players. You could hear the leadership of Renee (McDermott) in the back, and she had great game. What a performance from Kelley Monogue! She had a world-class type performance tonight. She scored two great goals and set up the other one with a brilliant pass. She was the key to us managing the game. When she was on the ball we were almost always able to keep it. That was key to forcing the other team to have to do something extra special. Statistics are a little misleading, because they were shooting from where we wanted them to shoot from which worked out very well for us.”
Senior Midfielder/Forward Kelley Monogue
On going up 2-0 early in the first half…
“I think it was really good for us, because it let us calm down. Anytime you’re winning 2-0, you can play better and not focus so much on scoring.”