ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (Oct. 31, 2012) – Texas A&M, playing in its first-ever Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament on Wednesday, got a taste of just how competitive the annual league tournament is, as the second-seeded Aggies escaped with a 1-0 overtime win against 10th-seeded South Carolina at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.
“It’s been an historical season all the way around with everything for Texas A&M and our university becoming a member of the SEC,” Texas A&M head coach G. Guerrieri said. “It’s such a great conference; you can tell – South Carolina is the No. 10 seed and they’re a heck of a team. They battled hard and they really pushed us today. It’s nice to get this past us, it’s nice to be able to get our feet underneath us now that we’re in new surroundings and I’m happy that we get a chance to stay a couple more days in this beautiful town.”
The Aggies’ junior captain Jayne Eadie drew South Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo out of the goal in the match’s 94th minute and found the back of the net on a rebounded ball to give Texas A&M the victory. For Eadie, it was her second game-winner of the season.
“It’s exciting to get the win and move on to the next round,” Eadie said. “We just had to grit it out. South Carolina obviously is a physical team. They’re going to throw a tackle in everywhere, so we just have to match them and then get our quality on the ball, and obviously get forward.”
Texas A&M (17-3-1) advances to play the winner of the quarterfinal match-up between No. 3 seed Tennessee and No. 6 seed Auburn, which is slated for a 2:30 p.m. CT start on Wednesday. Friday’s semifinal match is set for a 4 p.m. CT kickoff.
“We’ve got some great competitors and the goal there was a good indicator,” Guerrieri said. “You look at our captain who scores the goal in Jayne Eadie and she’s a hard, determined, skillful, but really confident player. Our team was confident that we were going to win the game, but we would have liked to have taken care of business a little bit earlier.”
The Gamecocks out-shot the Aggies 11-9 in the match, but Texas A&M connected on its only shot attempt in the extra period.
South Carolina, which defeated Arkansas in overtime in Monday’s first round, finishes its season with a 7-10-4 overall record.
“Honestly, we were playing at a complete disadvantage playing a game on Monday and coming into Wednesday,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “We knew that, but I give a lot of credit to our players to come in and battle. I was obviously hoping for a win today, I thought they deserved it, especially for our senior who went down in the back [Dani Henry] and couldn’t finish the game. It hurt us, but they gave it their all. I am very proud of the team’s performance. Credit to Texas A&M to get the goal they needed and that’s what the SEC Tournament is all about. We battled and came to battle against the top teams in the country. It’s just unfortunate that we’re finishing our season now; I wish we could play another day, but we gave it our all and, overall, I was proud of the performance.”
For all of the latest information on SEC Soccer and the 2012 SEC Soccer Tournament, log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com.