SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The eighth-ranked Texas A&M soccer team dropped its Big 12 Championship quarterfinal match, 4-2, to seventh-seeded Kansas on Wednesday night at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.
The Aggies fell to 15-4-1 with the loss, while the Jayhawks (12-7-1) move on to face Missouri in the semifinals on Friday.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” said head coach G Guerrieri. “We got put in a position where we had to throw people forward to get a decent look at goal and Kansas did a great job of countering and finishing their chances. It’s disappointing that we didn’t win a trophy this year in the Big 12. Now we have to regroup, tighten things up and be able to score when it counts.”
Kansas got on the scoreboard first after a misclear in the 10th minute. Monica Dolinsky collected the ball and fired a shot off the crossbar. The rebound angled to Shannon McCabe in the penalty box and she found the back of the net for a 1-0 Jayhawk lead.
A&M had several scoring opportunities in the first half, outshooting Kansas 9-7 and holding an advantage in corner kicks, 5-1
The Aggies’ best chance came in the 37th minute as a ball was played into the penalty box and a sliding Whitney Hooper struck a shot that KU keeper Julie Hanley managed to keep out of the goal.
The Aggies were down just one goal at the half, and came out of the 15-minute break on the attack. In the 59th minute, a free kick by freshman Becca Herrera found freshman Bri Young who headed the ball into the arms of Hanley.
In the 61st minute KU’s offense struck again as Dolinsky took a free kick at the right corner of the penalty box and a sprinting Jessica Bush tapped in a low-driven ball in the left-side netting to put Kansas up 2-0.
The Jayhawks were on the counter a minute later and a loose ball at the top of the box was picked up and put in the back of the net by Emily Cressy to increase the Jayhawk lead to 3-0.
Kansas netted its fourth goal in the 66th minute as McCabe scored from the top of the penalty area on a breakaway.
A&M kept fighting as freshman Raven Tatum blasted a hard shot from beyond the penalty area in the 70th minute, but Hanley was able to make a diving save to keep the Aggies off the scoreboard.
In the 73rd minute, freshman Beth West passed the ball to sophomore Whitney Hooper inside the penalty box. The forward from Houston, Texas, sent a cross to sophomore Alyssa Mautz who slid in and put the ball in the left-side netting for A&M’s first score of the evening.
Just a couple minutes later, Hooper had an opportunity after getting around a defender on the left side, but a save on her shot at the near post, kept the Aggies hungry for more goals.
With just over eight minutes remaining, Hooper was fouled inside the penalty box and senior Laura Grace Robinson connected on the penalty kick to bring the Aggies within two, 4-2.
A&M ran out of time after putting six of its 11 second-half shots on frame.
The Aggies now turn their attention to the selection show for the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. on ESPNews.