COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M senior Kelley Monogue had the right stuff in the second half, notching two goals and an assist as the No. 9 Aggies registered a 4-3 win over the Dayton Flyers in the season-opener at Ellis Field on Friday evening.
Monogue’s two goals bumped her career tally to 37, tied with Heather Ragsdale (1999-2002) for sixth place on A&M’s all-time list.
The McKinney, Texas native’s assist set up the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. After Dayton scored two goals in a span of 19 seconds to tie the game at 3-3 in the 82nd minute, Monogue reentered the contest after a brief spell on the bench. The Aggies worked the end line for a corner kick with Monogue offering the service from the right arc. She lofted a ball to the near post where Shea Groom put her head on it and sent it to the back of the net for the 4-3 advantage.
Dayton was unable to get a shot in the closing 7:30 of play as A&M salted the clock away.
Knotted 1-1 coming out of the intermission, Monogue gave A&M its first lead of the game in the 51st minute. After a successful tackle to strip a Flyers’ defender of the ball, the senior launched a heavy ball from 15 yards out past a helpless netminder for the 2-1 advantage.
Monogue struck again in the 56th minute. This time she took a free kick 10 yards off the end line on the left side of the penalty box. Monogue bent the ball into the far netting as Janae Cousineau made a run across the face of the goal to freeze the keeper, giving A&M a 3-1 advantage.
The Maroon and White was cruising to the win before thunder struck in the 82nd minute. With 8:51 left in the match, Nicole Waters slotted a pass down the left side of the pitch to find Ashley Campbell entering the penalty box. Campbell took two touches in the box before unleashing a shot past a diving Renee McDermott to cut the lead to 3-2. Nineteen second later, Waters took a free kick from 30 yards out, hitting a laser to the left of McDermott for the equalizer.
Waters also accounted for the first goal of the match. In the 13th minute, the Aggies were unsuccessful in an attempt to clear the ball out of the penalty box. Waters collected the ball at the top of the box and chipped a ball over McDermott who was left in an unenviable position.
The Aggies knotted the game at 1-1 with 7:03 left in the first half. Annie Kunz sent a pass into space on the right side of the penalty box. The mercurial Bianca Brinson chased the ball down and sprinted to the right corner of the six-yard box and blasted a shot into the left side-netting.
Despite the even score in the first half, the Aggies owned advantages in shots (10-3), shots-on-goal (5-1) and corner kicks (5-0).
The Maroon and White held advantages in all three categories for the contest, including a 21-9 edge in shots.
Texas A&M returns to action on Sunday when the Aggies host the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks in a 7 pm match at Ellis Field.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On Dayton as a season-opening opponent: I thought clearly it was a very entertaining game. And we had a great crowd. Twenty-eight hundred. It was super. Seven goals. I thought Dayton came out and played great. They didn’t give up. To come back and get those two goals with nine minutes left in the game is a credit to them and their coaches and the way that they play.
On the defense: I was disappointed in the goals that they (Dayton) scored. They had a wonderful goal on the direct free kick that she bent into the corner. That was an awesome goal. But I thought the other two goals were pure mistakes by us. The good news is those are mistakes we can correct.
On the freshmen: We had our four freshmen playing out there in front of the 12th Man for the first time and for a teenage girl that can be a very nerve-racking experience. I thought McKayla (Paulson) did better and better as the game went on. We got a really good performance, I thought, from Stephanie Malherbe. And Mikki (Mikaela Harvey) and Haley (Pounds) did a really good job on the attack. Mikki had some shots that will go in the net as she gets more experience.
On Kelley Monogue: I think last year she had a lot of shots blocked because we had her playing further back, a little deeper than we had her playing tonight. Playing as a higher midfielder, she was really good tonight. That first goal was awesome. And the free kick she took had some brilliance. I think she was our best player on the attack tonight.
Senior Midfielder Kelley Monogue
On working with Shea Groom on the game-winning goal: We have really good chemistry and we know how each other plays. I think that helps us a lot.
On the free kick to tie the game: I was on the outside of the 18. I take corners from the right side, so I just took it and curved it more towards the goal. I went for the back post. Luckily Janae (Cousineau) distracted the keeper. She (the keeper) couldn’t really see it coming and it just snuck in there.