Aggies Drop 4-0 Decision at Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies dropped a 4-0 decision to the No. 7 Florida State Seminoles in an NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship Regional Semifinal match on Sunday afternoon at Seminole Soccer Complex.
The loss ended a banner season for the Aggies, who finished the year at 19-5-1. Texas A&M won its first-ever SEC Western Division title, earned a bid in its 18th consecutive NCAA Championship and advanced to their 11th NCAA Championship Sweet Sixteen.
The 19 wins was one shy of the school-record 20 set by the 2002 squad during a 20-5-1 campaign. On the season, A&M set a school-record with 15 shutouts, including an SEC-record seven consecutive midway through the season. On the year, the Aggies defense yielded the fewest goals in school history with 16, despite the four yielded on Sunday. The old record was 17 goals allowed in 1997 (21 games) and 1999 (23 games).
The Aggies seniors, Catalina Clavijo, Lyndsey Gnatzig, Chelsea Jones, Beth West and Lindsey Witz, ended their careers with 65 wins.
For the game, the Seminoles owned an advantage in shots (13-9), but the squads entered the intermission with five shots apiece. Florida State also held slight edges in shots-on-goal (5-3) and corner kicks (5-3).
Florida State drew first blood in the 17th minute. Jessica Price dribbled the ball down to the end line at the edge of the penalty box and sent the ball to Isabella Schmid waiting just left of the penalty spot. Schmid one-timed a shot to the far netting for the 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles tacked on a second goal five minutes later. Ines Jaurena worked the ball to the end line at the edge of the goal area and sent a cross to the top of the six-yard box where Dagny Brynjarsdottir put a foot on it to the back of the net to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead with 23:15 remaining in the first half.
The Aggies went on the offensive in the waning moments of the first half but were unable to break the scoring seal. A&M took four of the half’s last five shots, including headers by Kelley Monogue and Shea Groom. Monogue’s header forced the keeper to make a save and Groom’s went just a few inches to the wrong side of the crossbar. Following a corner kick by Jayne Eadie, Chelsea Jones ripped a shot from 15 yards out that hit the crossbar in the 35th minute.
For the first 25 minutes of the second half, the Aggies were able to push numbers up without allowing an insurance goal by the Seminoles. Monogue and Eadie both got quality shots off that required Florida State’s keeper to come up with a save, but the Maroon and White were unable to mount a rally
Florida State took advantage of a counterattack in the 71st minute to give the Seminoles an insurance goal. Brynjarsdottir trickled a ball down the center of the pitch through a pair of Aggies’ defenders. Tiffany McCarty collected the offering and found herself in a one-on-one opportunity against Texas A&M netminder Jordan Day. McCarty was able to get around Day on the left and sent the ball goalward for the 3-0 advantage.
Florida Falls To Notre Dame
Notre Dame advances to next weekend’s NCAA Quarterfinal Round to face the region’s top seed, Florida State, a 4-0 winner over Texas A&M in Tallahassee Sunday afternoon.
Notre Dame scored in the 20th minute off its only corner kick of the match. The ball sent in by Brittany Von Rueden found junior Rebecca Twining at the middle of the six-yard box where she placed in a low header for her third goal of the season.
The Irish got an insurance goal in the 70th minute off a turnover in the Gators’ defensive third. Sophomore Lauren Bohaboy received the ball at the top of the box and drove along the 18-yard line. Her diagonal shot scored at the far post to put Notre Dame up 2-0.
Florida dominated possession in the early going of the match and had its chances in the opening half. In the eighth minute, sophomore Annie Speese’s shot hit the post. Senior Holly King got a head on a corner kick in the 24th minute, but her shot was high. With seconds remaining in the half, Notre Dame’s goalkeeper Elyse Hight got a hand on Erika Tymrak 28-yard free kick to push it over the crossbar for a Gator corner kick.
Not converting on the Gators’ early chances added to the team’s pressure, Florida head coach Becky Burleigh said.
“I think early in the game we had some really great opportunities that, if you score those, that changes things tremendously. I think the longer a game goes on, and particularly when you’re chasing a game, the pressure gets higher and higher and that makes what we do more and more difficult,” Burleigh said. “The game was probably hinged a little bit on the fact that we didn’t finish our chances early. That could have changed the whole complexion of the game.”
Hight turned in four saves Sunday which including getting a hand on a Tymrak shot from 20 yards in the 59th minute. Late in the match Tessa Andujar beat her marker on the right flank and the ball she sent to the middle of the box found Adriana Leon. The shot Leon took was also stopped by Hight.
Notre Dame was the first team to score a pair of goals against the Gators since the opening match of the Southeastern Conference season on Sept. 16.
“Credit to Notre Dame for coming and putting two goals in the back of the net. That’s something that hasn’t happened to us in quite some time,” Burleigh said. “Best of luck to them as they advance.”
Sunday’s result ends the Florida careers for seniors McKenzie Barney, Jo Dragotta, King, Tymrak and Kathryn Williamson. They finish with a four-year record of 70-21-6, which currently ranks among the nation’s top five for total wins. Florida advanced to the NCAA Championships’ field each year during their careers and they were part of SEC Championship teams in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
“This team has been so unbelievably awesome to work with. These players really love each other, they love the way that we play, they’ve bought in to everything that we’ve asked and these three captains [Barney, King and Williamson] are a big part of that. It’s been such a great experience the whole year and the unfortunate part about it is that it’s ending. This is a group that I just wanted to extend it as long as I possibly could because it was just so enjoyable,” Burleigh said.