The Pistol On Target Against SFA

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Senior forward Ashlee Pistorius broke the Texas A&M career record for goals scored (81) and total points (194) as she led the Aggie soccer team (18-3-2) to a 4-1 victory over the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (13-5-2) to advance to NCAA Second Round play on Thursday night at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.

"I thought it was a good night. The weather was fantastic and our playing surface is in great shape,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “We reminded our players to enjoy themselves tonight. This is a great experience. There are 311 teams in NCAA Division 1 and not everybody gets to experience playing in a NCAA Tournament game."

Pistorius netted both of her goals in the first 10 minutes of the match. The first coming in the fourth minute off a lofty cross from Amy Berend on the left side of the field. Berend sent the pass back across the goalmouth to the far post where the MAC Hermann Trophy hopeful headed home the goal that broke the A&M career record previously held by Bryn Blalack.

Just five minutes later Pistorius dribbled through two SFA defenders to find herself with a wide open opportunity to put away her nation-leading 25th goal of the season.

The Aggies took control of the match and a 2-0 lead into the lockerroom at halftime. A&M maintained high energy and composure, posting 18 shots in the first 45 minutes, taking five corners to SFA’s zero.

A&M kept command of the ball in the second half, scoring two more goals off another 18 shots. The Aggies’ third goal of the night came off a set piece in the 57th minute. Sophomore forward Cydne Currie was brought down just outside the 18 yard box, setting up Melissa Garey for the direct free kick. Left-footed, Garey planted the ball in the right upper-90 for her ninth goal of the season.

The Ladyjacks were able to get on the board in the 67th minute as freshman forward Kesia Broome mimicked Pistorius’ second goal dribbling through the Aggie backline and firing a rocket from the left side past Kelly Dyer who’d come off her line to try to defend the attack. The goal was Broome’s second of the season and brought the score to 3-1 in A&M’s favor.

Pistorius wasn’t finished with just two goals. The Illinois-native added her ninth assist of the season when she crossed the ball back into the keeper box for freshman Inge Harding to launch into the back of the net for her first collegiate goal, punching A&M’s ticket to Saturday’s second round action.

"I thought that SFA did a terrific job tonight,” Guerrieri ended. “We had to score some good goals to get the win. Melissa Garey's free kick was terrific. The first goal with Amy Berend finding Ashlee on the back post was a quality goal. Then the same thing where Ashlee found Inge Harding was a really nicely setup goal. SFA did a great job and Jaime (Frias) does a super job keeping that team to where they play; they're not just a team that's going to come in and pack it in. They really came out and played and scored a nice goal on the counter. I'm just pleased that this is behind us."

The win moved the Aggies to 11-2 in first round games and extended A&M’s home winning-streak to 20 games, dating back to Sept. 20, 2006.

The Aggies will face the Texas Longhorns on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with a shot at a trip to the NCAA “Sweet 16” on the line.

Stephen F. Austin Post Game Quotes

Junior Amanda Lackey

"When we came out, we came out nervous. I didn't think we came out prepared enough. Once we settled in and realized what we were doing we were able to stop more shots."

Senior Keyli Townsend

"I think we played very well. We just didn't finish our chances. We didn't come out as strong as we would have hoped but I think we played really well."

Head Coach Jaime Frias

"We try to go forward. They came out extremely hard in the first 15 minutes of both halves so they put a lot of pressure on the ball, which didn't allow us a lot of time and space to really wiggle around and keep the ball and do the things we wanted to do. When we did find our wingmids, I think we were very dangerous. We have a lot of speed up top so we got in behind them a couple times in the first half , moreso in the second half. We stressed that at halftime, that if we could find our wingmids and keep the possession of the ball a little better than we'd have goal scoring opportunities. We did and we ended up finishing one in the second half."

Texas A&M Post Game Quotes

Senior Ashlee Pistorius

"I think we used some of the momentum (from our Big 12 Tournament loss to Texas). We knew we had to come out and win the next game. Now it's win or go home. We just wanted to come out and take it to them."

Senior Melissa Garey

"I think our team does a very good job of taking one game at a time. We were able to put that loss (to Texas in the Big 12 Tournament) behind us, learn from it and put what we learned from it to work on Saturday."

Texas A&M Head Coach G Guerrieri

"I thought it was a good night. The weather was fantastic and our playing surface is in great shape. We reminded our players to enjoy themselves tonight. This is a great experience. There are 311 teams in NCAA Division 1 and not everybody gets to experience playing in a NCAA Tournament game."

"I thought that SFA did a terrific job tonight. We had to score some good goals to get the win. Melissa Garey's free kick was terrific. The first goal with Amy Berend finding Ashlee on the back post was a quality goal. Then the same thing where Ashlee found Inge Harding was a really nicely setup goal. SFA did a great job and Jaime (Frias) does a super job keeping that team to where they play; they're not just a team that's going to come in and pack it in. They really came out and played and scored a nice goal on the counter. I'm just pleased that this is behind us."