AMES, Iowa - The 3rd-ranked Texas A&M soccer team (12-2-1, 6-1-0 Big 12) logged its eighth shutout of the season with the 1-0 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones (6-5-3, 2-3-1 Big 12) at the ISU Soccer Complex on a chilly Friday night in Ames, Iowa.
“First and foremost, it’s a win on the road,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “Any coach in our conference will tell you that when you can get a win, especially on the road you take it. This is a hard environment for us to come and play in, it’s cold, and almost 30 degrees colder than when we left College Station yesterday. It’s a wet, bumpy surface. I am proud of our players for being able to dig in and get the win.”
Senior captain Melissa Garey out-hustled the Cyclone defense for the Aggies’ gamewinner. An ISU midfielder tried to play the ball back to the keeper, but Garey stepped through the backline intercepting the pass and took Andrea Gleason one-on-one beating the keeper to her left in the 18th minute. The goal was Garey’s fifth of the season.
A&M pressed hard in the first half, drawing a foul just to the left of the 18-yard box only a minute and a half into the match.
In typical fashion, All-American Ashlee Pistorius fired a round of shots in the ninth and 13th minutes that resulted in Gleason having to make three saves. The first shot came off a pass from Elisabeth Jones on the left side of the box into Pistorius who was just a couple of yards out on the ride side of the goal. Pistorius drilled the shot into the gut of Gleason for the save.
The Aggies managed another offensive onslaught in the 25th minute with Paige Carmichael sending a ball into the close post that was rebounded by Whitney Hooper who caused Iowa State to make a team-save off the line. Rachel Shipley won the cleared ball and drove a low shot into the near right post for A&M’s third shot in just a matter of seconds.
The Ags took the 1-0 lead into the lockerroom at the half having dominated the shot column, 13-3 over the Cyclones.
The Aggies continued to pound the Iowa State half of the field in the second 45 minutes of play, adding 11 more shots for a total of 24 on the night.
“We had a lot of chances, hit the post three times and had another ball or two cleared off the line,” Guerrieri said. “It was a gutsy performance by Iowa State. They are definitely a hard team to play and I think we are the first Big 12 team to come in here and get a positive result, that’s something for us to build on. It is one more step for us in achieving our goals.”
Garey almost put the Aggies up 2-0 with a header that grazed the inside post but luckily for the Cyclones, caromed out.
With just 14 minutes left in the match, Laura Grace Robinson dribbled down the right flank. Cutting towards the goal, Robinson played a cross into a streaking Pistorius, but Gleason ran onto the ball beating it back to top of the penalty area.
ISU’s best chance to net an equalizer came in the 68th minute when the Cyclones were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out. A&M goalkeeper Kristin Arnold made a leaping save, having her feet knocked out from underneath her as she brought the ball down, keeping her sixth shutout in tact.
Arnold posted seven saves on the night, bringing her season total to 58.
“We are going to have to head over to Nebraska and play an old rival on their home field, a tough place to play,” Guerrieri ended. “We’ve won the last two in Lincoln, and it would be great to finish off the weekend with two wins.”
The Aggies will head to Lincoln, Neb. to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Sunday. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at the Nebraska Soccer Field.
Shots by period 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 13 11 24
Iowa State 3 7 10
Corner kicks 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 1 1 2
Iowa State 1 4 5
Saves by period 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 1 6 7
Iowa State 7 4 11
Fouls 1 2 Total
Texas A&M 5 4 9
Iowa State 5 4 9
No. Time Team Goal scorer
1. 17:23 TAMU Garey, Melissa (5)