COLLEGE STATION, Texas - With another Friday night came another win over a nationally ranked team at Ellis Field for the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies as the Maroon and White triumphed over the No. 16 Long Beach State 49ers, 3-0.
One week after thumping then-No. 16 Rutgers, 4-1, Texas A&M once again imposed its will and dispatched of a quality opponent in impressive fashion. This time it was in front of 1,996 fans in a nationally televised game on FOX Soccer Channel.
Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue came off the bench to spearhead the Aggies’ arsenal. The two sophomores combined to account for all three of the goals.
Texas A&M (5-1) drew first blood in the 31st minute. Leigh Edwards gathered the ball at the right corner of the goal box and fed a pass to Kunz out front. Receiving the ball at six yards out, Kunz had no trouble putting the ball in the back of the net and the Aggies owned a 1-0 lead with 14:40 remaining in the first half.
The Aggies kept the offensive pressure turned up heading into the intermission. Fellow reserve Catalina Clavijo offered up a pass to Monogue at the penalty arc. Monogue launched an unstoppable shot into the right upper 90 and Texas A&M claimed a 2-0 lead as the ball cascaded down the right netting.
Texas A&M’s final goal came in the waning moments of the match. With 4:31 remaining in regulation Shea Groom made a charge into the penalty box at the right corner. Drawing the attention of the lone defender and the netminder, Groom sent a pass to Kunz just left of the penalty spot. Kunz took one dribble and drilled a shot from 12 yards out with no chance of a save by the flailing keeper, inflating the Aggies’ cushion to 3-0.
The Maroon and White owned a 19-9 margin in shots, including 11-4 in the first half. Texas A&M also held the advantage in shots on goal (9-4) and corner kicks (6-2).
Jordan Day recorded her third shutout of the season. The sophomore made four saves on the evening and lowered her goals-against average for the season to 0.50.
With strong play in the midfield and on defense by the Aggies, Long Beach State (4-2) had few opportunities to threaten. The 49ers best opportunity to score came in the 68th minute when Nadia Link thought she had a goal, but it was waved off due to an offsides infraction.
Marrina Meyers made five saves in goal for the 49ers. Link led the team with four shots, including two shots on goal.
Texas A&M returns to action on Sunday as the Aggies host a 1:30 p.m. contest against the Central Michigan Chippewas. For the game, “Kids Get In Free” with the purchase of an adult ticket. Limit four kids (aged 12-and-under) per adult. Also, fans with a ticket from Saturday’s football game can purchase a $3 general admission ticket.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Coach G Guerrieri
On whether this was the team’s best game of the season: I think, considering the opponent, this was probably our best effort. Long Beach State is a really good team that will be ranked high throughout the season. We were more consistent on offense and executed well and the defense played well like it has been for much of this season.
On the three goals: I don’t think there are many times you will ever see three better goals than that. All three were well executed on the lead-up and all three shots were delivered in the right place.
On Annie Kunz’s play: She is a real asset coming off the bench. The defenders start off the halves having to chase Bianca (Brinson) which is a task because she really goes hard while she is in there. Then Annie comes in with fresh legs and you see the impact she can have.
On another clean sheet for the defense: I think our midfield did a really good job of not letting Long Beach State get anything going on offense. When they did get the ball to the forwards, the defenders didn’t let them get shots off. We were aggressive and were winning all of the balls in the air, too, which helped keep them from getting anything going.
Sophomore forward Annie Kunz
On coming off the bench: It has its advantages. I get a chance to see what the other team is doing defensively. I also get to come in with fresh legs. Most teams don’t sub much on defense, so by the middle of the halves you can see them slow down a bit.
On working with Shea Grooms: We work really well together. I couldn’t have asked for a better pass on the second goal. She is a hard worker and aggressive which opens things up down the middle of the field.