COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Sophomore forward Cydne Currie assisted the first goal and scored the fifth for the 2nd-ranked Texas A&M soccer team, as the Aggies (15-2-1, 8-1-0) bulldozed through the Texas Tech (7-7-2, 5-4-1) defense for the 5-0 victory and sole possession of the 2007 Big 12 regular season title on Sunday afternoon.
“A 5-0 win is a real nice result for us,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “I really thought their goalkeeper was phenomenal today. Tina (Rincon) played a great game and Tom Stone has done a super job with Tech and really turned the corner with them. For us to be able to do what we did today is a real testament to the talent we've got on this team and the way we came out and played."
The Aggies had numerous scoring chances in the first period, including an open break down the right flank where Ashlee Pistorius shot the ball just wide left and Amber Gnatzig just missed nailing a shot from Elisabeth Jones from two yards out.
However, Pistorius was able to put the Aggies up 1-0 just before the half. The Aggies were awarded the first of eight corner kicks in the 35th minute. Allison Martino drove the ball into the keeper box where Pistorius collected the loose ball and slid it in front of the goal were Currie was waiting to send the ball towards the net. Pistorius ran on giving the ball a little extra push for the game-winner.
The Aggies took the 1-0 lead and a 12-4 shot advantage into the lockerroom at halftime.
Making the necessary adjustments, A&M came out with a vengeance in the second half scoring four goals in a span of just over 20 minutes. The Aggie attack started with a series of four shots by four different A&M players that resulted in two saves in just a matter of seconds.
Paige Carmichael sent a pass into the box from the far right sideline to Pistorius who netted her team-leading 19th goal of the season to put the Aggies up 2-0 in the 66th minute.
Sophomore Amber Gnatzig would add some flare to the scoring drive in the 81st minute as the midfielder flicked a pass from Martino backwards off the outside of her foot into the goal just over the outstretched arms of Red Raider keeper Rincon.
"It was going to take some special goals to be able to beat their goalkeeper,” Guerrieri ended. “We hit the post I don't know how many times. I don't know how many times balls were cleared off the line. One, two, three, four shots sometimes and they knocked the ball out or we'd hit the post or miss wide. So good for our girls to keep the persistence going and stick to business. We didn't have to come out of our game at all to get the result."
Gnatzig’s goal sparked an Aggie attack that saw two more chances finished in just seven minutes. First, in the 83rd minute, Whitney Hopper connected with Nicole Ketchum from the right endline back to just in front of the goal. Ketchum’s goal was her fifth this season.
Currie’s third goal of the season and A&M’s fifth of the game came off a scuffle in the box where the ball caromed off the crossbar back to the feet of the Irving, Texas-native. Currie quickly situated herself on the close left side and drilled the shot into the far side of the goal, sealing the victory.
"Cydne is such a great young lady,” Guerrieri noted. “She never puts in less than hundred percent and she's coming into her own at the right time."
After allowing four early shots by the Red Raiders, the Aggie restraining line held tight not giving up a shot for over 36 minutes.
Aggie goalkeeper Kristin Arnold was forced to make four saves on the afternoon including a shot taken by Zhaleh Rezaie just a couple yards in front of the six-foot sophomore. Arnold coolly wrapped up the ball keeping her seventh shutout of the season in tact.
A&M will conclude Big 12 play next Friday as the Aggies play host to the Baylor Lady Bears. The game will serve as Senior Night with kick-off slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.
Shots by period 1 2 Total
Texas Tech 4 3 7
Texas A&M 12 21 33
Corner kicks 1 2 Total
Texas Tech 4 1 5
Texas A&M 1 8 9
Saves by period 1 2 Total
Texas Tech 3 6 9
Texas A&M 1 3 4
Fouls 1 2 Total
Texas Tech 4 4 8
Texas A&M 3 3 6
No. Time Team Goal scorer Assist
1. 34:41 TAMU Pistorius, Ashlee (18) Currie, Cydne
2. 65:17 TAMU Pistorius, Ashlee (19) Carmichael, Paige
3. 80:13 TAMU Gnatzig, Amber (3) Martino, Allison
4. 82:28 TAMU Ketchum, Nicole (5) Hooper, Whitney
5. 89:46 TAMU Currie, Cydne (3) (unassisted)