Aggies’ Valiant Run Ends in NCAA Quarterfinals
CARY, North Carolina – The No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies had their 2020-21 campaign come to an end with a noble effort in a 1-0 loss to the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels in NCAA Division I Championship quarterfinal play.
The Aggies’ 2020-21 campaign ended with a 12-4-1 mark, their seventh trip to the Elite Eight and their third SEC regular-season title.
In front of a COVID-protocol muted crowd at WakeMed Soccer Park – Field 4, the Tar Heels scored the icebreaker in the 43rd minute and the Maroon & White unsuccessfully chased the equalizer the entire second half.
Prior to North Carolina breaking the scoring seal, Texas A&M’s Barbara Olivieri had the match’s two best scoring opportunities of the first half.
In the 21st minute, the Aggie rookie received a precision pass through two defenders from Kendall Bates before uncorking a shot from 17 yards that Tar Heels’ netminder Claudia Dickey had to make a leaping stab at to keep out of the right upper 90. In the 32nd minute, a long ball by Karlina Sample got over UNC’s backline. Olivieri ran it down and was able to get a dangerous toe poke from the left corner of the 6-yard box, but it went inches wide of the right post.
The numbers were tight at intermission with North Carolina owning narrow margins in shots (5-3), shots-on-goal (2-1) and corner kicks 2-1.
The defenses got downright miserly in the second half with just three shots taken in the stanza between the two sides. Each keeper made one save in the closing act. Clinging to the precarious lead, North Carolina began milking the midway through the second half.
43′ | The Tar Heels took advantage of a Texas A&M turnover to in the midfield to make a run at goal. The Aggies’ parried away the initial wave without a shot being take, but on the follow up attack by North Carolina found Rachel Dorwart ripping a shot from the right side of the penalty box arc into the left side netting. UNC 1, A&M 0.
The Aggies are tentatively slated to start the 2021 season on August 10 with an exhibition match at North Texas.