COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 9 Texas A&M Soccer team needed 103 minutes before the game-winning goal was unleashed in a double-overtime win over the Georgia Bulldogs at Ellis Field on Sunday afternoon.
In the first-ever meeting between Texas A&M and Georgia on the soccer pitch, the Aggies controlled play for most of the match. The Maroon and White owned decisive edges in shots (33-14), shots-on-goal (13-5) and corner kicks (10-4).
The Aggies pulled the trigger on 56 shots on the weekend, including an abundance of quality offerings, but the lone Texas A&M score came on an own goal. Despite the ball being knocked into the back of the net by a Bulldogs' defender, the credit can go to Leigh Edwards and Shea Groom for producing the end game.
Edwards controlled the ball at the right side of the penalty box and launched towards the goal area. With Groom and a Georgia defender crashing towards the mouth of the goal, the defender got to the offering first, but had nowhere to put it but into the back of the net, giving the Aggies the golden goal at the 103:18 mark.
The game had several opportunities to end in the Aggies' favor earlier in extra play. In the third minute of extra time, Groom launched a shot from close range that was blocked before it could cause Georgia goalie Ashley Baker any problems. In the 96th minute, Kelley Monogue sent in a low liner from the right corner of the goal area that just missed caroming off the far post. In the second minute of the second overtime, Jayne Eadie boomed a shot from 18 yards out that sent Baker diving for an extraordinary save, but it would be to no avail as the Aggies would get the game winner 90 seconds later.
Groom almost prevented overtime with 13 seconds left in the second half when her shot from 15 yards out was just inches away from catching the upper left 90.
Monogue led Texas A&M's calvacade of shots, launching eight. Groom and Annie Kunz each tallied six. Eadie registered five shots, including a game-high three shots-on-goal, two of which sent Baker to the deck for the save.
The Aggies did not let the 'Dogs offense out, holding Georgia scoreless for A&M's 12th shutout of the season. The blanking tied the school record of 12 set in 2006. Jordan Day made five saves on the afternoon for her school-record 11th shutout of the year. She now also owns 20 shutouts for her career.
Georgia (7-10-2, 3-7-2 SEC) received a solid effort in goal from Baker who made 11 saves on the day.
With the win, the Aggies (15-3-1, 9-2-1) booked their ninth consecutive 15-win season. With another win, the Maroon and White would match their victory mark from last season. The school record stands at 20, set in 2002.
The victory kept Texas A&M two points behind Florida for first place in the SEC overall standings with one match left to play. The Aggies would need a win over Missouri and a Florida loss at South Carolina on Thursday to earn an outright SEC title and the overall No. 1 seed at the SEC Championship in Orange Beach, Alabama. Texas A&M owns a three-point lead over Tennessee for the No. 2 spot in the overall standings.
Arkansas Rallies for Win at Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Arkansas scored twice in the second half, with both goals by senior Andrea Carlson, to rally for a 2-1 Southeastern Conference victory at Mississippi State on Sunday.
Carlson scored the game-winner off a rebound shot with just 1:12 remaining as Arkansas improved to 9-8-1 overall and 6-5-1 in the SEC.
The win clinches a spot in the SEC Tournament for Arkansas for the first time since 2000.
"We're excited," head coach Colby Hale said. "We didn't talk too much this year about season-long goals. We said if we take care of the details and work hard on a daily basis, those things will take care of themselves, but I know the girls are excited."
Haley Hatcher attempted a shot from the left wing with just more than a minute to play, but a defender blocked it. Carlson was at the edge of the six and placed her rebound shot between a defender at the post and keeper CJ Winship to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 weekend. Arkansas won at No. 16 Missouri on Friday, 2-1.
"We didn't feel like we were the better team today," Hale said. "I felt like we got outworked, but this was a step in the right direction because we were able to win on a day when we didn't play so well. We had not earned six points (for two wins) in a weekend yet, and that's a huge step. We told the kids they found a way to win and we're proud of that, but we have to put together a full 90 minutes."
Arkansas didn't tie the game until the 63rd minute. A foul gave Arkansas a free kick just right of the 18. Taylor Green played the kick from the far side to the near side, and Carlson headed in a shot over the head of the keeper from four yards away to tie the game 1-1. A long throw in from Ashleigh Ellenwood to Green set up the foul call that led to the score.
In the 65th minute, MSU had a chance to regain the lead, but a Bulldog header off a corner went just over the bar.
For the game, Arkansas had a 19-15 lead in shots and a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Arkansas pressed the attack early with the first pair of shots and a shot on goal by Yvonne DesJarlais. Much of the first half was spent on MSU's end of the field, but the Bulldogs got the first score.
Mississippi State scored in the 16th minute off a throw in from the far side even with the 18. Shelby Jordan's throw bounced inside the 18 and Elisabeth Sullivan drew keeper Kelly Roliard out to score into the left side of the net off her right foot from eight yards away. Sullivan's goal was her 10th of the season.
Minutes after the score, Sam Wolf responded with a shot on goal for the Razorbacks.
With 19:20 left in the period, a foul gave Arkansas a free kick about 40 yards out. Allie Tripp sent it into the 18, but MSU was able to clear it.
In the 28th minute, Allie Chandler dribbled around two defenders and passed to her right to Ellenwood in the center of the field. Ellenwood took a shot from 25 yards out, but Winship made a save on the grounder.
With 12:30 to go, Tripp had another free kick 40 yards away, but MSU cleared before Ellenwood could make a play on it inside the 18.
Inside the 10-minute mark, MSU had a free kick from 35 yards out, but Tripp cleared it out of the box.
Late in the first half, Chandler and Okoro both had scoring chances. Chandler made a move to get open, but her shot from just outside the box was wide left. A minute later, Okoro got inside the box, beat her defender and drew the keeper out, but her shot from the right corner of the six was just wide of the left post.
For the period, Arkansas dominated with a 10-4 lead in shots and had a 4-2 lead in shots on goal.
Arkansas closes the regular season on Thursday with a 7 p.m. game against LSU in Baton Rouge.
Kentucky Comes From Behind to Beat Auburn
LEXINGTON, Ky. - For the first time since the 1999 season, the University of Kentucky women's soccer team (12-5-1, 7-4-1 SEC) won its seventh Southeastern Conference game in a season 2-1 in a come-from-behind win over the Auburn Tigers on Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex in Lexington, Ky.
"At halftime, I thought Auburn wanted it more than us," UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. "We have had this conversation all season long about extrinsic motivation. Most of our motivation has to be `how good can we be?' They were playing harder than us. We just talked about little things we had to do with our front line to be able break down their back line and I am happy with how we responded."
The opening goal of the game came in the 30th minute off the foot of Auburn's Tatiana Coleman, who struck for her team-leading seventh goal of the season. The strike was from about 12 yards out and was a volley off receiving the corner kick rebound. The strike was put past UK goalie Kayla King, ending UK's three-match shutout streak.
The Wildcats then turned up the offensive volume, striking for two second-half goals. The first came just four minutes into the second frame as Arin Gilliland scored her second goal of the weekend in a volley from Alyssa Telang. The goal was a quick re-start off an Auburn foul. The service came in from Telang on the near side and was volleyed home by Gilliland past a diving Amy Howard. The goal was Gilliland's second on the weekend, while Telang tallied her third assist of the season.
The game-winning goal came off the foot of Olivia Jester, who scored her first-career goal Sunday afternoon in the 54th minute of the game. The ball was headed in the net by the Cincinnati, Ohio, native and put Kentucky up 2-1. The service once again was provided by Telang, who charted her second assist of the game and fourth of the season.
The win was UK's fourth-straight SEC win, as Kentucky has knocked off Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn consecutively to now hold an impressive seven wins in conference. It is the first time since 1999 that UK has recorded seven or more wins within the rigors of the SEC and first time since 2006 that Kentucky has won four-straight SEC games.
The win puts the Wildcats in fifth the SEC standings, as UK now holds 22 points in the conference. The Wildcats can move up to as high as fourth place heading into Orange Beach, Ala., with a win Thursday night vs. Vanderbilt and a loss by Tennessee.
Kentucky will play its final regular-season game Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. ET against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The night will also be Senior Night, as UK will honor its senior class of five in Natalie Horner, Brooke Keyes, Cassie Ransdell, Kirsten Robinson and Alyssa Telang.