CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina – The No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies yielded a goal in the first three minutes of both halves and dropped a 2-0 decision to the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels in the third round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship at Felzer Field on Sunday.
The Aggies ended the season with an 18-5-2 overall record. They claimed a share of their first-ever SEC regular-season title and won the SEC Tournament crown in Orange Beach. The success continued into the NCAA Championship as the Aggies made their 19th consecutive appearance, moved on to the second round for the 16th consecutive season and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 12th time in program history.
The Tar Heels drew first blood in the third minute of action. From 20 yards out, Summer Green boomed a low driving ball into a cluttered penalty box and the shot deflected off an Aggie defender past a diving goalkeeper Jordan Day for Green’s eight goal of the season and a 1-0 lead 2:51 into the contest.
The Aggies had a pair of chances to knot the game in the first half, but were unable to convert. In the seventh minute, Shea Groom sent in a missile from 10 yards out, but Carolina netminder Anna Sieloff made the save. In the 12th minute, Annie Kunz sent a shot in from 18 yards out, but it went two feet right of frame.
North Carolina held the offensive advantage in first half stats, including 10-4 in shots, 3-1 in shots-on-goal and 6-2 in corner kicks.
The Tar Heels took advantage of a penalty kick opportunity 1:36 into the second half. Green drove a shot into the penalty box that bounced off an A&M defender. The assistant referee deemed a hand-ball occurred on the play. Green stepped up to the penalty spot and converted for her second goal of the match and a 2-0 lead.
The Aggies set up multiple enviable scoring attempts in the second half but were unable to break the scoring seal. In the 50th minute, Annie Kunz sent a shot in from the penalty spot, but Sieloff was able to push the shot right of the frame for the save. In the 55th minute, Kelley Monogue launched a shot from 12 yards out but it went two feet north of the crossbar. Monogue hit a low driving shot from 20 yards out in the 57th minute, but Sieloff was able to make a diving save.
Texas A&M’s final prime scoring opportunity came in the 71st minute. Shea Groom was headed to a one-on-one with the Tar Heels’ netminder. With Sieloff charging outside the penalty box, Groom chipped the ball goalward but was taken out by Sieloff before she could continue her run. In lieu of the rulebook red card, Sieloff was issued a yellow card. Kelley Monogue took the ensuing free kick from 19 yards out, but Sieloff made a spectacular save to keep the Aggies off the board.
For the match, North Carolina owned the edge in shots (19-11), shots-on-goal (7-4) and corner kicks (8-5).
Day made four saves in goal for the Aggies. Sieloff also made four saves to earn the shutout for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels will play either Stanford or UCLA in the NCAA Championship quarterfinal next weekend in Chapel Hill.