BOULDER, Colo. – Texas A&M freshman Beth West headed in the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime to give the No. 11 Aggie soccer team a 2-1 come from behind victory over No. 12 Colorado at Prentup Field on a cool Sunday afternoon.
The Aggies (13-3-1, 6-2-1 Big 12) move into first place in the Big 12, while the Buffaloes (12-3-3, 6-2-2 Big 12) fall to second.
Freshman Bri Young tied the game in the 86th minute on a header from freshman Becca Herrera to send the game into overtime.
“It was looking like a nightmare at first and then it turned into a dream come true at the end,” said head coach G Guerrieri. “To be able to keep fighting is a real great testament to the will and the heart of this team, and for the two Colorado girls to come home and score as freshmen is even better. Now we’re in first place and hoping we’re able to lift a trophy in a week.”
In a very evenly matched first half, A&M and Colorado each managed one shot on goal. The Buffaloes tallied six shots to the Aggies’ four, but A&M held the advantage in corner kicks, 4-1, as the two teams went into 15-minute break scoreless.
Two minutes into the second half, A&M was called for a foul inside the penalty box and the CU’s Alex Cousins took the penalty kick. A&M goalkeeper Kelly Dyer moved to her right on the shot and the ball went off Dyer’s fingertips and into the back of the net to put the Buffs up 1-0.
The Aggies had several scoring opportunities in the second half and in the 60th minute, sophomore Rachel Shipley blasted a left-footed shot at the top of the box that CU keeper, Kirstin Radlinski punched out for an Aggie corner kick. Freshman Jennifer Kmezich headed a bending ball from Herrera just wide of the goal.
A&M kept pressure on the Buffaloes and in the 75th minute, junior Natalie Curie and redshirt freshman Kat Armstrong were relentless on the Buffalo defense and won the ball in their attacking third. Currie fired a shot from inside the penalty box but Radlinski came off her line to make a sliding save.
It wasn’t until the 86th minute that a free kick from Herrera form about 40 yards found the head of Young inside the six-yard box. The Castle Pines North, Colo., native flicked the ball just inside the near post to tie the game with three and a half minutes remaining.
A&M came out on fire in overtime and not even a minute into the period sophomore Alyssa Mautz ran down a ball in A&M’s attacking third and found senior Laura Grace Robinson just inside the penalty box. The Houston, Texas, native touched the ball and cut back in for a hard shot on frame.
Three minutes later, Radlinski came up with another big save on a strike from Robinson and the ball went wide to Shipley near the corner of the box. The midfielder sent a cross in to West whose header found the back of the net for the game winner.
A&M outshot Colorado 16-13 and earned seven corner kicks to just three from CU. The Aggies tallied nine shots on goal.
A&M closes out the regular season taking on Houston Baptist at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.