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Aggies Give Pros their Money’s Worth

April 03, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies struck early, but were unable to hold off the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), falling to the Pros, 3-1, at Ellis Field on Wednesday night.

The Aggies drew first blood in the third minute with a brilliant connection between newcomer Mikaela Harvey and three-year letterwinner Allie Bailey. Weaving through the defense near the left corner of the penalty box, Harvey sent a crisp diagonal pass to Bailey eight yards out. Bailey launched a high driving ball that Dash starting netminder Erin McLeod was able to get a mitt on, but she was unable to send the ball over the cross bar and Bailey’s shot hit the top shelf before cascading down the back netting for the 1-0 lead.

Bailey’s goal marked the first yielded by the Dash in their preseason slate against collegiate foe. Houston had outscored opponents 12-0 in three prior dates, including a 7-0 drubbing of Texas Tech and a 4-0 dismantling of Rice. Ten days ago the Dash edged A&M 1-0 in Houston.

The Dash regrouped and found the equalizer in the ninth minute of play. From 15 yards out, Ke-alia Ohai was headed right and sent a back-heel pass to the left finding Jordan Jackson made a run from the midfield to find herself in an envious position, beating Aggie starting keeper Jor-dan Day to the right to even the match at 1-1.

The Maroon and White nearly reclaimed the lead in the 36th minute when Bailey drilled the crossbar from 12 yards out. The carom landed two feet in front of the touchline before being gathered up by McLeod.

Houston staked claim to a 2-1 lead in the 45th minute when Ohai crated space for herself 10 yards out on the right, just inside the penalty box, and beat Day to the left for the go-ahead goal.

The Dash owned a 13-5 edge in shots heading into the intermission.

The Aggies remained in striking distance through a majority of the second half until the Dash added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute. Dominique Richardson sent a long through ball to Ella Masar at the top of the penalty box and after settling the ball to her feet, Masar sent a ball to the right of Texas A&M second-half keeper Renee McDermott for the 3-1 advantage.

For the match, Houston held a 28-8 edge in shots and 11-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Day made five saves in goal in the first half for Texas A&M while McDermott registered three in the second half.

Texas A&M returns to action on Saturday with a pair of 60-minute matches at Rice on Saturday, facing the Owls at 2 pm Central and the LSU Tigers at 5 pm Central.


Head Coach G Guerrieri
Overall thoughts…
First off we’re really thankful to the Dash for giving us the game. This is a pretty cool experi-ence all of our players. There was a time out there where we had all three freshmen on the field. That’s a fun experience for those guys. It’s a little shocking at first because they’re kind of in awe. I was real pleased with the way that our team played today. I think we looked better today than we did 10 days ago when we played them in Houston. They scored three good goals. Both teams hit the post with some shots. In all, I think it was a fun and entertaining game.

On the defensive play…
We aren’t used to seeing that type of pressure. The Dash play faster than any team we will see in the fall and they play more intense for 90 minutes than any team we will see in the fall. It’s a great learning experience for us and I think we handled it well this time out. I think our defense can learn from it, because there were teachable moments on each of the goals that Houston scored. I think our offense can learn from it, because it is an example of how we want to play – enhancing our defense by pressuring on offense.

On the Aggies’ goal…
We scored a great goal. I was pleased with the way we set up the goal. That was an excellent finish by Allie (Bailey), who had a chance later in the game to score but hit the crossbar. You won’t find many better services than what Mikaela (Harvey) had to set up the goal. I think to-night she started to show why we think she is going to be a very special player for us.”

Defender midfielder Leigh Edwards
On the difference between playing the Dash and SEC competition…
I would definitely say the level of intensity is ramped up times a hundred. The Dash is so com-posed and they work so hard, but they’re also very technical. It’s the best competition we will see.

On how playing such a strong offensive side helps in the off-season…
It helps a ton. Just being able to talk and realize how much more we need to talk and watch our spacing is helpful. We’re playing against some of the best mids and forwards in the country, so to be thrown in that situation and be able to handle it gives us lots of confidence heading into the fall.

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