STILLWATER, OK -- All-American forward Ashlee Pistorius contributed a goal and an assist as the 6th-ranked Texas A&M soccer team came from behind in a very physical match to beat the No. 22 Oklahoma State Cowgirls 2-1 on a windy night at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex in Stillwater, Okla.
With the win A&M improves to 8-2-1, 2-1-0 in Big 12 play while OSU drops to 7-3-1, 1-2-0 in conference.
“Hats off to Oklahoma State! They were more dangerous than we were even though we had most of the possession,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “I told our players at halftime that champions need to step up. Thank goodness that the defending champs did step up. I was really proud of the players. Oklahoma State is a terrific team. Colin (Carmichael) does a great job, they are incredibly organized and they are hungry and they want to win. For us to be their first loss at home in I think in 16 conference games is a testament to the character and heart of our players.”
Exactly nine minutes had ticked off the clock when OSU midfielder Sasa Jackson brought the ball down the right flank and crossed it back towards the left side of the goal where Jamie Markaverich came crashing in for the header, putting the Cowgirls up 1-0.
“They are an excellent counter-attacking team,” Guerrieri noted. “They are very dangerous off their counter-attacks and the goal they scored was two mistakes of ours on the left side and then a nice cross and a nice finish. It was basically an issue of desire that they really wanted to get on the end of it.”
A&M fought tooth and nail for the remainder of the first half but was unable to finish any of its scoring chances as Oklahoma State went into the locker room at halftime with the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies came out attacking from the start of the second half, outshooting the Cowgirls 15-4 in the second 45 minutes.
“To come out and outshoot them the way our players did in the second half and to have most of the corner kicks and possession, you could see our players were really grinding,” said Guerrieri. “I’m happy for the players. We know we are going to get peoples’ best shots.”
Pistorius tied the Big 12 career record for goals scored (69) when she netted the equalizer in the 70th minute. Pistorius fought for possession in the midfield and dribbled toward the goal slotting a pass off to the left side to fellow senior Melissa Garey. Garey then brought the ball close to four yards out before passing it back to Pistorius who lined her 13th goal of the season past Cowgirl keeper Erin Stigler.
After Pistorius’ goal the Aggie offense stayed attacking in full force doubling their shots from the first half in a matter of just a few minutes.
In the 81st minute Pistorius nearly put A&M up 2-1 when she fired a hard shot on frame but Stigler wrapped up the ball for save No. 5 on the night.
“Ashlee missed a couple of chances in the first half and an open header to start the second,” Guerrieri said. “She buckled down and when she buckles down she cleans up her game and makes things happen. She set up a lot of our attacks tonight and then worked herself into a position to score and when she’s in front of goal, she’s money. She’s going to finish those shots off. It’s just a matter of time for her to continue to bring more people into the attack.”
It was only two minutes later in the 83rd minute that Cydne Currie collected a rebound and sent it out to Pistorius on the left flank. Pistorius drove the ball towards the far right post where Nicole Ketchum but away the gamewinner, her third goal of the season.
The Aggie defense held its ground keeping the Cowgirls out of their attacking half of the field for the remainder of the match.
A&M returns to action on Sunday as it faces the Oklahoma Sooners. Kick off is set for 1 p.m. at John Crain Field.
“Now we’ve basically got to regroup and we’ve got to be able to do it on the road one more time down in Norman,” Guerrieri ended. “Same thing- Randy (Evans) will have them ready to go. We’ve got to focus on getting ourselves back together and doing it again.”
Shots by period 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 6 15 21
Oklahoma State 7 4 11
Corner kicks 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 2 2 4
Oklahoma State 4 0 4
Saves by period 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 4 0 4
Oklahoma State 2 3 5
Fouls 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 5 6 11
Oklahoma State 5 5 10
No. Time Team Goal scorer Assist
1. 9:00 OSU Markaverich, Jamie (1) Jackson, Sasa
2. 70:00 TAMU Pistorius, Ashlee (13) Garey, Melissa
3. 82:18 TAMU Ketchum, Nicole (3) Pistorius, Ashlee