Playing without All-American Ally Watt, the No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies battled the Alabama Crimson Tide to a 1-1 draw Thursday night at Ellis Field.
Alabama's last icebreaker was the result of an own goal in the 67th minute. The Maroon & White answered with a goal from Jimena Lopez in the 83rd minute.
The draw extended the Aggies' home unbeaten streak to 10 matches. In addition to Watt, Texas A&M was playing without the services of starting center back Karlina Sample and they had the minutes of several other players limited due to illness.
After missing last match to train with the Mexico National Team, Lopez returned to the Aggies in stride scoring the equalizer in free kick fashion. Lopez owns a team-leading 25 points with seven goals and nation-leading 11 assists.
The Maroon & White owned the shot advantage with 15-10, including 7-2 with shots-on-goal.
Shantel Hutton tended goal the entire 110 minutes for the Aggies, registering two saves.
Texas A&M moves to 9-2-3 overall and 3-1-1 in the SEC. Alabama is now 7-4-2 overall and 2-2-1 in league action. Thursday night's match notches the first tie to the all-time series of 7-3-1.
67' – Serena Pham passed the corner kick to wide open Brynn Martin who sent the ball amongst a clutter. Shantel Hutton went for the catch but it was out of reach. An A&M defender kicked the ball away from the goal, but it bounced back off of another Aggie resulting in an own goal. A&M 0, BAMA 1.
83' – Jimena Lopez launched a rocket sailing over the goalie's reach off a free kick from 25 yards out. A&M 1, BAMA 1.
The Aggies travel to Alabama for a Sunday match against the Auburn Tigers. Match time is slated for 4 p.m.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On the team's performance tonight…
"I am proud of the fight that our girls came into this game with. I am overall pleased at what I saw. We were able to come from behind with our leading scorer not playing and with the adversity that we've been through, which is big for us. There was a world-class free kick by Jimena [Lopez] to score the goal for us. I am disappointed that we gave away an own goal to put ourselves with this result. Alabama is a terrific team and a one-to-one result shows it was a hard-fought game on both sides."
On the hard-fought game…
"Jordan [Hill] had to come out tonight. Karlina [Sample] is out for the season and Ally [Watt] wasn't able to go tonight. Grace [Piper] was able to go, but got dizzy pretty quick. The good thing is we have depth on this team, and now it's time for that depth to step up and prove it. Which we did in a large case tonight. We all got to see the type of effort Taylor [Ziemer] put in was outstanding. When Katie [Smith] came in, she did a great job for us from box to box."
Texas A&M midfielder Jimena López
On what was going through her mind on her goal…
"When I saw the angle I thought about crossing it, but then we had the wind on our side. Then, I saw the keeper move into the middle. She thought I was going to cross it through the middle of her line. So, I just hit it really hard, and it went in."
Texas A&M forward Taylor Ziemer
On having to fight through injuries…
"I think it's always difficult to put people in different places and lose people in the middle of the season, but we got to do it. That's part of soccer, along with just being able to play different positions. I think that people stepped up and played pretty well. I think as a team we've got to play better. I think we should be a little disappointed in the way that we played. We're better than we played tonight, but we worked really hard."