COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In a final score that belied the Aggies’ stranglehold on the match, No. 9 Texas A&M notched a 1-0 win over the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks in a Sunday evening match on Ellis Field.
Texas A&M dictated the terms of play with decisive advantages in shots (35-7), shots-on-goal (10-5) and corner kicks (15-3), but the Ladyjacks were able to keep enough bodies between the ball and goal to stay in striking distance throughout the match.
In a nearly identical play to her game-winning header against Dayton on Friday, Shea Groom redirected a corner kick from Allie Bailey into the back of the net with 17 minutes remaining in the first half to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.
All indications were that it would not be the lone goal of the match for the Aggies as the Maroon and White peppered 16 first-half shots, including seven on target.
The blitz continued in the second half, as A&M held a 19-1 edge in shots and 9-1 margin in corner kicks.
Groom thought she put home a second goal in the 82nd minute of play, but the assistant referee judged that the ball hit the crossbar and did not cross the goal line on the ricochet off the crossbar.
With the victory, the Aggies improved to 2-0-0 for the first time since the 2008 campaign. The Maroon and White got off to 1-1-0 starts in each of the last five seasons.
Renee McDermott picked up her first shutout since the 2011 season as she made five saves in goal.
Stephen F. Austin’s Morgan Glick had a heroic effort in goal with eight saves. The Ladyjacks backline also stopped a goal with a defensive save on A&M’s first shot of the game, a howitzer from Bailey in the second minute of action.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies host the UCF Knights in a 8 pm contest at Ellis Field.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerreri
On Shea Groom’s goal…
“One of the things our girls do a really good job of is executing on a lot of our set pieces. We had 15 corner kicks, so we should have converted on more, but on the goal, the serve from Allie (Bailey) and the finish by Shea (Groom) were both well-executed. I thought Meghan (Streight) put herself in position to score a couple of times. McKayla Paulson put herself in a good position a couple times. I’m real pleased with that. We’ve always been good at it. Phil (Stephenson) has done some great work with the team in perfecting and polishing our set pieces and we’ve scored on three this season.”
On the amount of chances and only scoring once…
“It was tough. Give a lot of credit to SFA. They battled hard. They kept numbers back, so they didn’t let us get in behind them. Their goalkeeper pulled off several really big saves, and we knew it was going to be a battle. We knew that they’d come in with a lot of energy. With that said, you can look at the stats and you can see we were in control of the game.”
Senior Midfielder Shea Groom
On her goal off the corner kick…
“Allie (Bailey) and Kelley (Monogue), both serve a great ball from the corner. We had 15 corners tonight and we only finished one. We need to convert on more, but the services were there. We have a lot of people who are really dangerous in the air. It could be anybody who finishes the ball, and the past two games it’s been me. We’re a great team in the air.”
On the injuries…
“It’s a little tough. We battled a lot of injuries this weekend. We faced a lot of adversity. It showed that this team isn’t going to fold when we don’t have every single person that we usually start with. We have depth, and hopefully that doesn’t run out anytime soon. To come in and get two wins, we haven’t done that since I’ve been here, so it’s really good to get out on a clean start. Next weekend, we are ready for the Fish Camp game. UCF is going to be a great opponent and we are just going to focus on this week being a recovery week.”