COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hot off of its 12th-and-final Big 12 Championship last weekend, the No. 3 seeded Texas A&M soccer team will host Louisiana State Friday in the NCAA First Round. The 6:30 p.m. match at Ellis Field marks the No. 12 Aggies' (15-5-2) 17th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and their second time to tangle with the Tigers (13-7-1) in the postseason.
The Aggies defeated rallied from a two-goal deficit against Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal match, tying the game at 3-3 before advancing in a penalty-kick shootout, 5-3. In the semifinal round, A&M avenged its only Big 12 regular season loss with a sound 3-0 shutout of Missouri. The team will leave the conference on top after winning its 12th Big 12 title in a 1-0 shutout over Oklahoma State. The Aggies handed the Cowgirls their only loss of the season when a lone goal by senior Megan Majewski with nine seconds left in regulation gave A&M the victory it had been looking for.
LSU earned Southeastern Conference runner-up status in the regular season for the third time in four years. With the No. 2 seed heading into the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., the Tigers dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 7 seed Auburn in the quarterfinal round. This is the fourth NCAA berth for LSU.
Fans who are unable to attend Friday's match but want to catch the action can watch and listen to the game live online at AggieAthletics.com. Live stats will also be available through the A&M web site.
TICKETS/FREE ADMISSION FOR A&M STUDENTS
Tickets can be purchased online at www.AggieAthletics.com, in person at the Zone at Kyle Field box office, or over the phone at 1-888-99-AGGIE. Tickets ordered over the phone will be left at the Ellis Field Will Call window to be picked up on the day of the game. Fans may purchase reserved tickets for $18 (West Midfield), $15 (West Sideline) or $9 (West Goal Line), or can buy general admission tickets for $7 (Adult), $4 (Youth or Student). Children two-and-under will be admitted free.
Thanks to Aggie soccer sponsor Monograms & More, all Texas A&M students will receive FREE admission to Friday's match with proof of ID. These donated tickets will be good for general admission seats only.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live stats, live video and live audio will be available for Friday's match on AggieAthletics.com. Fans enjoying the game from Ellis Field can also hear the in-stadium broadcast on 88.1 FM.
FOLLOW @AGGIESOCCER ON TWITTER
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BIG 12 CHAMPIONS
In A&M's 16th consecutive and final trip to the Big 12 Championship, which is in its 16th year of existence, the Aggies defeated No. 1 seed Oklahoma State in the Championship final to earn the program's 12th conference title. The Aggies end their tenure in the conference with a 23-11-3 all-time record at the tournament and are one of just two teams (Texas) that have qualified for all 16 championships. The last time A&M brought home a tournament trophy was in 2005 after defeating Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado.
BIG 12 RUNNERS-UP
The Aggies entered the Big 12 Championship as the No. 2 seed after a tough regular season. A&M had a rocky start to the season, but quickly picked up momentum after a 4-3 overtime upset against top-ranked North Carolina on the road. The team only suffered one loss in conference play, shutting out five of eight Big 12 opponents. The Aggies' strong finish in regular-season conference play helped them to a No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
The No. 3-seeded Aggies have made 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with G Guerrieri at the helm. This year the team was an automatic qualifier after winning the Big 12 Tournament last week. Last season, the No. 4-seeded and ninth-ranked Aggies traveled to Minneapolis, Minn., where they drew with North Dakota State, 1-1, and advanced to the second round on penalty kicks. The team fell to host Minnesota in the NCAA second round, 0-2. The Aggies are 23-16-3 in the NCAA postseason, making four program-best runs to the Elite Eight.
SCOUTING LOUISIANA STATE
The Tigers finished the regular season as the SEC runners-up with an 8-3 conference mark. An SEC Tournament quarterfinal loss to No. 7 seed Auburn put LSU at 13-7-1 on the season overall. Taryne Boudreau leads the team with 30 points on 12 goals and six assists this season, and was selected First Team All-SEC. In goal, Mo Isom has played 1,763 minutes and owns 57 saves and eight shutouts while allowing 20 goals. Isom is a Lowes Senior CLASS Award candidate and defender Allysha Champman was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-SEC.
The Aggies and Tigers have only met once before, in the 2009 NCAA Second Round. The match ended in a 1-1 double-overtime draw before A&M took a 4-2 advantage in the penalty-kick shootout to advance to the third round of the tournament.
The Aggies have been either ranked or receiving votes in national top-25 polls every week for the past 16 years. A&M is currently ranked 12th in the Soccer Times poll, 15th in the Soccer America poll and No. 17 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25. The team is also ranked No. 9 among TopDrawerSoccer.com's list of 64 tournament teams.
Through last week's games, the Aggies have the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation, leading all NCAA Division I teams with 3.23 goals per game. Freshman Kelley Monogue is ranked 13th in points per game (2.05), 13th in goals per game (0.818), fifth in total goals (18) and seventh in total points (45). Junior Beth West's 11 assists rank 11th in the nation, while senior Merritt Mathias has contributed 10 assists to sit at 20th. Freshman Annie Kunz is 29th in total points with 33.
In the most recent RPI rankings (through games of Nov. 9) the Aggies sit at No. 11, led by only Oklahoma State (No. 7) in the Big 12. A&M has consistently been in the top 25 in RPI rankings since reporting began this season. The Aggies' 71 goals this season is a national leader.
The Aggies' 25-player roster features 13 upperclassmen, two sophomores and 10 freshmen. A&M's fresh squad is guided by four seniors. The team returns seven starters and 11 letterwinners from a year ago.
The Aggies had six players with 10 awards in five different categories on the All-Big 12 awards list. The list was highlighted by Monogue, who was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, and was selected to the All-Big 12 first team and the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Mathias, West and sophomore Rachel Lenz also received first-team honors, while freshman Meghan Streight was named to the All-Big 12 second team. Streight and freshman Annie Kunz join Monogue on the All-Newcomer roster.
BIG 12 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Four Aggies found themselves on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team Sunday after the Championship match. Monogue, Kunz, Mathias and freshman Meghan Streight were named to the all-tournament team, and Monogue was named the Offensive Most Outstanding Player.
The Aggies' 10 freshmen have made a big impact on the 2011 squad. Monogue and Kunz top the team offensively, while both goalkeepers, Renée McDermott and Day, are freshmen. Bailey and Bianca Brinson contribute regularly as forwards and Streight, Perry and Edwards round out the midfield. Each freshman has seen action already this season, while all-but 23 (68 percent) of A&M's 71 goals were netted by members of the Class of 2015.
TDS FRESHMAN TOP 100 LIST
Seven A&M freshmen were honored on the TopDrawerSoccer.com Freshman Top 100 List, including Monogue, who led the nation at No. 1. Kunz reached No. 7 in the rankings, followed by Streight at No. 33, No. 43 Day, No. 52 Bailey, No. 64 Shea Groom and No. 71 Perry.
FIVE AGGIES ON TDS BIG 12 TOP 20 LIST
Five members of the Aggie soccer team were named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Big 12 Top 20 Player Rankings. Mathias led the team with a No. 2 ranking. No. 4 Monogue, No. 7 Rachel Lenz and No. 9 Shea Groom rounded out A&M's top-10 selections, while Kunz completed the list of Aggies at No. 14. A&M and OSU were the only two teams with five players on the list.
STREIGHT ON TDS TEAM OF THE WEEK
Streight's outstanding performance at the Big 12 Tournament got her more than a spot on the all-tournament team. The freshman defender was selected to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week on Monday for the first time in her career. Streight placed two of four shots on frame last week in San Antonio, playing all 290 minutes for the Aggies and helping the backline to hold opponents to just over half the shots taken by A&M as the team won its 12th conference championship.
MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
Mathias and Young, both seniors, were placed on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The award is the highest honor in collegiate soccer and will be given to a winner on Jan. 6. The field will be narrowed to 15 semifinalists in late November. A&M was one of only eight schools who placed two selections on the list.