Aggies Advance to Semifinals on Penalty Kicks

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SAN ANTONIO -- Freshman goalkeeper Kelly Dyer made the stop necessary for the 2nd-ranked Texas A&M soccer team to advance 8-7 on penalty kicks to the semifinal round of the 2007 Big 12 Soccer Championship at the Blossom Soccer Stadium.

“This was a hard game, we knew Iowa State was going to come in and play with their hands and be very physical,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “They keep you from getting any athletic advantage you might have, that is just the way they play. We were in control for the whole game and just happen to make one mistake on defense and they made us pay.”

A&M (16-2-2) was able to make good on each of its eight shots while Iowa State (12-1-2) managed to post seven. Senior Elisabeth Jones sealed the Aggies’ trip to the semis converting her kick after Amanda Nimtz had her shot beaten away by Dyer. Dyer replaced Kristin Arnold in goal just before Nimtz’s PK.

“I am really proud of Kelly Dyer, coming in and saving the penalty kick, and all of our shooters because we made every one of our shots and we made them comfortably,” Guerrieri noted.

Nimtz was also responsible for netting the Cyclones’ equalizer with just six minutes left in regulation when she redirected an A&M header past Arnold to tie the match at one-all.

The Aggie attack came out in full force posting 25 shots in regulation with multiple scoring opportunities including a header from Rachel Shipley in the 14th minute that bounced straight into the arms of a diving Ann Gleason. The save was one of 12 Gleason would make on the afternoon.

“Their keeper made at least five monster saves that kept it from being 6-0,” Guerrieri said. “I am proud of our girls for their perseverance and for their strong will and the energy that came from everyone on the roster was a good result for us.”

Shipley had a wide open shot with 24 minutes left in the half. The forward from Plano, Texas lofted a rocket just over the top of the crossbar.

Finally in the 24th minute Shipley was able to help the Aggies build an attack from the midfield. Dribbling towards the center of the goal, Shipley dished the ball off to Amy Berend who was running up the far right sideline. Berend sent a towering cross back towards the left side of the six yard box. Pistorius headed the ball down in front of the goal where Jones finished off her fifth goal of the season.

With 13 minutes left in the first half senior captain Melissa Garey was issued a red card causing the Aggies to have to play the remainder of the match with 10 players on the field.

It was the second time this season A&M played a man down, the first came in the 2-0 victory over Texas on Oct. 12 in College Station.

With less than three minutes left in the first overtime Allison Martino was fouled about 25 yards out. Martino sent the free kick into Pistorius who headed the ball just wide left of the goal.

Both teams traded possession of the ball and went foul for foul in the second overtime with neither team able to capitalize on their chances, sending the game into penalty kicks.

The Aggies to Friday’s semifinal match against the winner of No. 4-seed Missouri and No. 5 seed Texas Tech. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Blossom Soccer Stadium.