FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Kelley Monogue notched a pair of first-half goals and Meghan Streight added a second-half tally to help No. 9 Texas A&M Soccer bring home the bacon with a 3-1 win over Arkansas at Razorback Field on Friday evening.
The Aggies maintained its prowess on set pieces in the triumph with one corner kick goal and one free kick goal. A&M has at least one set piece goal in all nine SEC games and a total of 13 in league action.
The victory improved Texas A&M to 13-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in SEC play. With 22 points, the Aggies moved past Missouri (21 points) for second place in the SEC overall standings. A&M trails Florida, who moved up to 24 points following a 2-1 victory over Mizzou on Friday evening.
With the win, the Aggies maintained their seven-point lead over Auburn in the SEC Western Division standings. Texas A&M can wrap up the division title, outright, with a win on Sunday coupled by with a victory by Arkansas over visiting Auburn.
Monogue lit the fuse on the Aggies’ offense at the halfway mark of the first half. Shea Groom used speed and desire to get past two defenders and work the ball to end line on the left side. She launched a cross into the box that caused problems for Arkansas defenders. A deflection put the ball to the foot of Monogue who launched a shot from the penalty spot to stymie an unfortunate Arkansas goalkeeper and the Aggies staked claim to a 1-0 advantage with 22:31 remaining until the intermission.
Texas A&M continued its success on set pieces in league action to inflate the cushion to 2-0. In the 30th minute, Chelsea Jones delivered a perfect corner kick offering from the left corner arc. Monogue, who was standing three yards off the near post, made easy work of the header, flicking it into the net for the two-goal lead.
With 8:11 remaining in the first half, the Razorbacks (6-8-1, 3-5-1 SEC) took advantage of an errant back pass by the Aggies to trim the lead to 2-1. Allie Chandler found the ball at her feet in unmarked 20 yards out on the right side. She dribbled parallel to the end line, settling for a shot at the top of the penalty box, putting it to the right side of a diving Jordan Day.
The Aggies were weaning off a 2-1 lead, when they used another set piece to add an insurance goal in the 76th minute. Jayne Eadie booted a free kick from 10 yards right of the center circle. Her offering found Streight six yards in front of the goal mouth. Streight got a boot on the pass to redirect it past the Razorbacks’ netminder, and the Texas A&M lead snowballed to 3-1 with 13:16 remaining in the contest.
Day went the distance in goal for the Aggies. She made four saves, including three while A&M was protecting a one-goal lead early in the second stanza.
Texas A&M owned a decisive advantage in shots, 21-13, and edges in shots on goal, 7-5, and corner kicks, 5-4.
The Aggies return to action on Sunday when they travel to Nashville for a 1 p.m. contest against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On scoring on set pieces: In both instances we got great services. First the corner kick from Chelsea Jones and then the free kick from Jayne Eadie. Both were put in places where we can win balls. And on both goals we had aggressive finishes.
On the importance of A&M’s third goal: It was a big goal. It stopped the frantic pace the game had begun to take.
On Kelley Monogue’s two goals: She’s special in front of goal. We’re lucky to have her.
On getting a win on the road: Three more points on the road. One more road game to play on Sunday, which we know will be hard place to play. I’m proud of the players for what they did today:
On the play in the second half: In the early part of the second half, Arkansas really came out with a lot of energy. The maturity of our team really came through as we weathered through that and were able to get more and more possession in the midfield to take over.
Sophomore forward Kelley Monogue
On scoring off set pieces: We just all want to score in the box. We have good tenacity to get the ball into the back of the net. Chelsea gave me a perfect ball and all I had to do was flick it in.
On her first goal: Shea (Groom) has really good speed and she works really hard. Once she got around the corner I knew she would play it back near the PK spot so I settled in and waited for the ball.
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Streight
On her goal in second half: Jayne (Eadie) played a great ball in. I just did everything I could to finish it. It was important to get the two-goal lead at that point.
On her versatility in the game: I just played wherever the team needed me. I just did everything I could to help us get the win.