Team USA Ties Aggies 3-3 In Soccer Exhibition

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COLLEGE STATION -- The United States Under-20 Women's National Team scored two goals in the final five minutes of their match against Texas A&M to earn a 3-3 tie against the defending Big 12 soccer champs at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.

Team USA opened the game with a bang, as they scored within 40 seconds of the opening kickoff, when forward Ali Reed ran past Aggie defender Micah Stephens, dribbled around goalkeeper Kristin Arnold and laced the ball into the open net from a sharp angle.

The Aggies fought back and equalized the match on a goal from Melissa Garey midway through the first half. Four different Aggies combined with precision passes before Garey received the ball alone in front of goal and hammered a left footed shot past USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher from 12 yards out.

A&M continued to press the attack for the remainder of the half. Their play paid off when forward Elisabeth Jones dribbled into the USA penalty area and was on her way to goal only to have been taken down by a National Team defender. Ashlee Pistorius stepped up and converted the penalty kick to put the Aggies ahead, 2-1.

Texas A&M made the score 3-1 early in the second half when Paige Carmichael took a quick free kick from 40 yards out, finding Berend with a short diagonal pass. Berend then looked up and served a bending ball behind the American defense which Pistorius headed into the net.

As the second half went on, Team USA pushed more and more attacking players forward in an effort to turn the game around. Those increased numbers in attack paid off in the 85th minute when Rachel Given received a through ball behind the tired Aggie back line. She calmly slotted the ball into the net, cutting the USA's deficit to 1 goal and setting the table for a frantic finish.

Team USA continued to attack in wave after wave, until Ashley Eliot hit a hard drive from 15 yards out. The shot deflected off the fingertips of a stretching Arnold, off the goal post, and just over the goal line, deadlocking the game at 3-3 with just fifty seconds left in the match.

The game wrapped up a six-day training camp for the USA U-20 Women's National Team in College Station. They will next meet in May for a three-game International Tour in England.

The Aggies will return to action this Saturday night against the University of Florida in their final game of the spring non-traditional season. Kickoff for the Aggies-Gators match is set for 7 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium. Admission is free for the public.