COLLEGE STATION -- The defending Big 12 soccer champions fell 1-0 to the Brigham Young University Cougars in a tightly contested off-season exhibition game at the Aggie Soccer Stadium on Thursday night.
Despite being outshot for the evening, BYU junior forward Katie Fellows scored the game's only goal by tapping in a deflected save by Aggie goalkeeper Kristin Arnold in the game's 34th minute.
The game was a back and forth affair, which saw Texas A&M hold a slight 6-4 shot advantage. The Aggies thought they had taken an early 1-0 lead in the game's 13th minute when All-American forward Ashlee Pistorius received a through pass from Cydne Currie and deposited a shot past the Cougar goalkeeper from near 16 yards out. But, the referee called back the would-be goal, judging Pistorius to have been offside when Currie played the pass. BYU led the game 1-0 at halftime.
"We were not pleased with our first half performance," commented A&M head coach G Guerrieri. "We played with almost no flair or intensity, and you can never expect to get a positive result against a team as talented and well coached as BYU without putting in a full effort."
A&M made a shift in formations at halftime, and despite being without usual starters Emily Peterson, Laura Grace Robinson and Allison Martino, who did not suit up for the exhibition due to injury and/or illness, seemed to be more assertive and controlled more of the play and created a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the 68th minute when Pistorius fed Currie a little pass approximately seven yards from goal. However the ball bounced over Currie's right foot, and the Cougars avoided a probable equalizer.
"BYU played a good solid game tonight," said Guerrieri. They deserved the result. It doesn't matter who was not available for us. We had a talented enough collection of players tonight; we just didn't get it done. If we are going to get better and accomplish the high goals our team has for 2007, then these are the kinds of lessons we need to learn from in the non-tradition portion of the year."
This was the first spring season loss for the Aggies in nearly three years. The last time was in the April of 2004 when A&M lost to the Brazilian Olympic Team. Brazil would go onto win the Olympic silver medal in the Athens games later that summer.
The Aggies will return to action on Wednesday, March 28th in an exhibition game against the United States Under-20 National Team. Kick off for the A&M-USA match is set for 6 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.