COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The 5th-ranked Texas A&M soccer team scored a goal in each half to knock off the top-ranked Texas Longhorns 2-0 in front the second largest crowd (5,552) to come through the gates at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.
"This is a real big win. Texas is a heck of a team, they are talented all over the park,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “Chris (Petrucelli) is always going to have his team in any game. He does a great job in putting them together. That makes it that much more special for us. To be able to win with a shutout, down a man.”
With the win, the Aggies not only move to 10-2-1, 4-1-0 in league play, but also gain a half point advantage in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown standings. The loss dropped the Horns to 9-2-2, 2-1-1 in the Big 12.
Senior midfielder Amy Berend was credited with the gamewinner in just the sixth minute as she tapped in a short shot from the left side of the six-yard box. Ashlee Pistorius dribbled the ball down the left flank and dished it off to Melissa Garey who was positioned with her back towards the center of the goal, 10 yards out. Garey spun around, slotting the pass into Berend who finished her second goal of the year.
"We talked about the way we were going to have to score was maybe not with our forwards but our midfield was going to have to get in there,” Guerrieri said. “Melissa did a great job of playing in a ball behind her and Amy with the outside of her foot drove it into the far side netting. It was a really good goal. I thought Texas was in a good position, Amy just stepped in and found a crease."
The match was very physical with both teams becoming overly aggressive at times. Senior Allison Martino was on the giving end of a hard foul and was penalized with a red card in the 32nd minute, causing A&M to have to battle the remaining 58 minutes with 10 players on the field.
The teams ended the first half with a combined total of 15 fouls. A&M held a slight shot advantage with five to UT’s three.
A&M continued to attack in the second 45 minutes while maintaining a stout defensive restraining line, earning the team’s sixth shutout of the season.
In the 73rd minute A&M increased its lead to 2-0 as Garey was tripped up by Texas goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger on the right side of the UT penalty area. Pfenninger, who left the match after the collision, was called for a foul. Pistorius stepped up to take the PK, converting the fourth of her career, which also put her in first place in the Big 12 career record books for goals scored (70).
The Ags maintained the 2-0 lead, keeping the Horns winless in seven trips to College Station. A&M has now won 15 consecutive home matches, dating back to Sept. 20, 2006.
"Our midfield did a good job tonight,” said Guerrieri. “We probably won the game in the midfield. Amy Berend was dynamite, Laura Grace Robinson was dynamite, and Amber Gnatzig was dynamite. Those three and the other people we had to put in, they did great."
Aggie keeper Kristin Arnold posted seven saves en route to her fifth clean sheet.
The best chance for the Longhorns to attempt a comeback came in the 56th minute when forward Niki Arlitt sharply headed the ball into the belly of a lunging Arnold.
“I think the 12th Man did a good job of keeping our energy up,” Guerrieri noted. “I thought really across the lineup all of our players had great nights, being down a man and to still be able to keep the possession for most of the game and get some good attacks."
"It's a fun environment to play in,” Texas head coach Chris Petrucelli said. “It's a place our kids enjoy coming to and playing at. It's loud and the people are passionate.”
The Aggies return to Big 12 action on Sunday as they play host to the Colorado Buffaloes at 1 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.
Shots by period 1 2 Total
Texas 3 10 13
Texas A&M 5 6 11
Corner kicks 1 2 Total
Texas 1 3 4
Texas A&M 0 4 4
Saves by period 1 2 Total
Texas 3 3 6
Texas A&M 2 5 7
Fouls 1 2 Total
Texas 9 9 18
Texas A&M 6 4 10
No. Time Team Goal scorer Assist
1. 5:53 TAMU Berend, Amy (2) Pistorius, Ashlee
2. 72:00 TAMU Pistorius, Ashlee (14)
Cautions and ejections:
RC-TAMU #11 (32:00); YC-UT #6 (34:43); YC-UT #14 (51:48);
YC-UT #23 (69:35); YC-UT #11 (74:41)