COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies and No. 9 Baylor Bears played to a 0-0 draw through two overtime periods at Ellis Field on Sunday night action at the Texas A&M Invitational.
The Aggies and Bears ended play at the tournament with identical 1-0-1 records, but A&M claimed the title with a +5 goal differential compared to +1 for Baylor. On Friday, A&M topped San Diego 6-1 while Baylor bested Missouri 2-1.
With one its top scoring threats, Annie Kunz, sidelined after being taken out on a yellow card-drawing foul 10 seconds into the match, the Aggies tried to muster offense through a grizzly Bears’ defense. For the contest, Texas A&M owned the advantage in shots (15-13) and the Bears possessed the advantage in corner kicks (4-3).
Jordan Day recorded her second shutout of the season and the 25th of her career. With the shutout, A&M has blanked Baylor in 11 of their last 12 meetings. Day made six saves on the evening, including a leaping grab as the clock struck zero in the second overtime.
Play was chippy from the outset, as Baylor’s Vic Hoffman was issued a yellow card before the contest was 20 seconds old on a foul of Kunz. The Bears held the edge in fouls for the game, 11-9, including 8-3 in the first half. The Baylor bench was issued a yellow card in the first minute of the second overtime.
The Aggies had the best scoring opportunity in the first half when Bianca Brinson took a pass from Janae Cousineau in the 44th minute and sent in a solid shot in from 12 yards out, but it sailed just north of the crossbar.
Early in the second half Brinson launched a ball from the right end line that hit the crossbar to rattle the cage coming out of the intermission. Liz Keester tattooed the crossbar on a shot in the 69th minute and two minutes later forced a sprawling save from Baylor netminder Michelle Kloss on a well-driven ball from 15 yards.
In the 88th minute, Brinson had what may have been the best breakaway scoring opportunity of the contest, chasing down a lobbed pass from Meghan Streight down the right side of the pitch, but her touch betrayed her just inside the penalty box and Baylor was able knock the ball out of danger. With under a minute remaining in regulation, Shea Groom sent a shot in from 15 yards out that would have prevented overtime, but Kloss was able to get a glove on the ball to push it wide of the frame.
The Maroon and White nearly had a sudden-death goal in the second overtime period, but Cousineau’s sharper grounder from 12 yards out bounced inches right of the goal in the 106th minute.
Day preserved the shutout in the game’s waning moments as she made saves on shots by Alex Klein with 3:17 remaining and Bri Campos as the final whistle blew.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies host the Massachusetts Minutewomen in a 6 pm contest at Ellis Field.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach G Guerrieri
Opening Statement: “It’s unfortunate for us that we couldn’t finish our chances that would’ve put the nail in the coffin for them. I thought we created some good chances. We had a couple of balls that just whizzed wide and their goalkeeper made a couple of great saves. It was a hard-fought battle against a quality opponent.”
On Bianca Brinson: “She did a great job of trying to go and cause trouble for them. She played several great balls that we were just half a step off on. I thought she had connected with Allie (Bailey) on one, but it was just a couple inches too tall.”
On Jordan Day: “Against a team like this that is basically territorial and looking to put and keep you under pressure and hope they can force you into a mistake, if you don’t have a goalkeeper that can protect you from a lot of crosses, you’re in a lot of trouble. Unfortunately for them, that’s Jordan’s strength. She pulled a couple balls off of people’s heads just before they got under them. I’m proud of her. I’m always proud of her. Meghan Streight and Rachel Lenz also had great games today. I thought our backline was fantastic.”
Junior Goalkeeper Jordan Day
On playing against a team that likes to cross the ball: “I enjoy it. We worked all week on it and our defense did a tremendous job tonight and played really well together.”
On her final save at the end of the second overtime: “There was about 15 seconds left and I didn’t think they could get a shot off. I was just trying to stay composed and focused.”