Jimena Lopez’s bullseye in the 58th minute propelled the No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies to a 1-0 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Friday night’s annual Fish Camp Match at Ellis Field.
Freshman goalkeeper Shantel Hutton recorded her fourth consecutive shutout, enduring 419:55 minutes of action without yielding a goal. Hutton notched four saves for the match and held off an Ohio State charge with three huge second-half stops.
Lopez’s goal increased her team-leading point total to 11 and marked the third consecutive match with a goal. She has scored all three set piece goals for the Aggies this season.
Ohio State owned the advantage in shots (19-16) and corner kicks (8-3), but the backline rotation of Briana Alston, Jordan Hill, Grace Piper, Karlina Sample and Callyn Walton proved a tough nut to crack.
The Maroon & White (4-0-1) remains undefeated through five matches for the second consecutive season. Texas A&M improves to 2-0 all-time against Ohio State.
58’ – Jimena Lopez fired a missile over the goalie’s head on a free kick from 19 yards out, right of the penalty arc. A&M 1, OSU 0
The Aggies return to Ellis Field Sunday at 6 p.m. to face the Brown Bears, completing their four-game homestand.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On Jimena Lopez’s goal…
“That spot that she took the free kick from - she probably practices that free kick 30 times a day. As soon as the free kick was called there, all of us on the bench said, “It’s Jimena time.” It was great to see all that hard work pay off.”
On the match…
I thought that Ohio State did a great job in really pushing us in the second half. I don’t think they got over the halfway line in the first 20 minutes, I thought our pressure was great early on and Ohio State did a really good job of kind of breaking out of that as the game went on. We give Lori Walker-Hock and her staff a really good deal of credit because they gave us such a tight match. It just came down to, in the end, finishing. We had a lot of great chances and we didn’t hit the target. We hit balls over the top instead of being able to place them on goal. It took a special shot by Jimena Lopez to win it. More than anything, I thought Shantel Hutton was fantastic in goal. For a freshman to step up in front of a full house and Big Ten team is a lot of pressure for her. That’s four shutouts in five game for her, which is pretty cool.
On what is key to getting the four shutouts in a row…
“I think the way we are able to keep pressure on the ball. Karlina Sample does an awesome job of directing traffic and keeping things going. We also have some super athletes on the backline. They are all dependent on each other, and if there is a breakdown anywhere, then they are looking for the other one to step in. Tonight it ended up being Shantel Hutton who made the most big plays.
Junior Midfielder Jimena Lopez
On team’s performance tonight…
“My teammates have been a huge help. I have been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Also, I am confident in myself because my teammates and coaches have the confidence in me. Most of all, I am confident God is going to act through me every time I am on the field.”
On the coaching staff’s message during half time…
“We knew that it was a tight game, so the coaches just reminded us we have to pull this game out. The other team could win it or we could. It was a matter of attitude and pushing ourselves to finish strong, which is what we did.”
On her team’s performance thus far in the season…
“I’ve mostly been impressed with the resilience of this team because some games we have not had the possessions we needed or wanted to see but in the end still have somehow pulled out these last few wins. We are always working to strive to be better.”
Freshman goalkeeper Shantel Hutton
On her team’s performance tonight…
“We’ve been working really hard for each other. I have never been on a team where defenders will throw their bodies at the ball to make the block, which has been a big help to me. That makes me want to go for every single ball.”
On her shutout performance tonight…
“It definitely was nerve racking. Only being up by one is obviously going to be a close game through both halves. I wanted every ball. That’s the only thing I focused on. Every time a ball made its way to the corners, I was glued.”