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COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – The No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies were edged out by the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils, 1-0, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,242 at Ellis Field on Friday evening. The match marked the season opener for both squads.
Duke notched the lone goal of the match in the 52nd minute of action. Freshman Toni Payne weaved down to the penalty spot and offered an outlet pass to senior Kim DeCesare on the right flank. DeCesare took two dribbles and uncorked a shot from the right corner of the six-yard area to the left of Aggie netminder Jordan Day and into the side netting for the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Devils’ goal gave Duke a 12-5 edge in shots through 52 minutes. Texas A&M was able to outshoot Duke 7-5 down the stretch, including 5-1 in the final 12 minutes but the Aggies were unable to find the back of the net for the equalizer.
A&M had three prime opportunities to score in the final four minutes, but misfired. With just less four minutes left in the contest junior Shea Groom sent a cross in from the left to an unmarked Liz Keester towards the right post, but the offering missed finding the freshman’s boot by a yard. Groom had a shot blocked from eight yards out with 3:00 showing on the clock. With 1:15 remaining, junior Kelley Monogue sent a corner kick in from the left side and found the head of Annie Kunz, but the junior’s header went two feet high of the left upper ninety.
Day, the Aggie junior goaltender, made five saves in a valiant effort in goal for A&M. In the 36th minute she staved off a pair of shots at point-blank range by DeCesare to keep the contest scoreless going into the intermission.
Sophomore Ali Kershner went the distance in goal for Duke making three saves in the shutout.
Groom registered a team-high four shots, including two on goal. Keester added a pair of shots.
DeCesare led all players with six shots, including fur on goal. Senior Kaitlyn Kerr took four shots and junior Kelly Cobb and senior Laura Weinberg added three apiece.
In addition to the advantage in shots, Duke held the margins in shots-on-goal (6-3), but corner kicks were even at 5-5.
Texas A&M returns to action on Sunday when the Aggies host the UTSA Roadrunners in a 7 pm match at Ellis Field.
Summer Clarke Scores First Career Goal to Lead LSU to Season-Opening Win
BATON ROUGE – Freshman striker Summer Clarke opened her account in the 37th minute with her first career goal while finishing a brilliant through ball by fellow freshman Emma Fletcher to guide the Tigers to a 1-0 shutout of Louisiana Tech in their 2013 season opener in front of 1,135 supporters on Friday night at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers (1-0) remained unbeaten in two matches all-time against Louisiana Tech (0-1) while extending their home winning streak to three-straight games dating back to the 2012 season.
On a Tiger counter attack late in the first half, Fletcher pounced on a Lady Techster turnover in the midfield and split the two Louisiana Tech center backs with a precise through ball to Clarke streaking into the open into the penalty area. Clarke then took a touch in stride and fired a strike into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box for her first collegiate goal.
While assisting each other’s goals in a 4-1 victory over Nicholls State in their preseason exhibition match a week ago, Clarke and Fletcher are already forming a lethal combination for the Tigers in the attack. They posted 13 shots and five shots on goal between them with Clarke firing eight shots and two on frame and Fletcher totaling five shots and three on frame during the match.
The two Tiger rookies are products of the Vancouver Whitecaps Elite Girls’ program during their youth careers as Clarke hails from Richmond and Fletcher is from Victoria in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
“It was basically a perfect ball,” Clarke said of Fletcher’s through ball that freed her up for the goal. “I couldn’t miss it, so I just tried to place it I the corner. I thought the back line was really sharp today. They were really on point and were intercepting balls they were trying to play through. I thought we played a pretty good game. It was very fast-paced and competitive for our first game.”
Clarke’s breakthrough was all the Tigers needed as the LSU defense turned in a strong effort on the night, limiting Louisiana Tech to just seven total shots with two shots on goal in the match.
Senior goalkeeper Megan Kinneman was called into action in the 56th minute while making a leaping save on a bending ball from the right side of the pitch off the boot of Louisiana Tech striker Madison Doll. The keeper leaped across the face of goal and punched the ball out of the box with LSU taking possession going the other way.
Doll proved to be the greatest threat to the Tiger defense on the night as she finished with a team-leading four shots and both of her team’s shots on goal over the course of 90 minutes.
“Those are tough balls. We call those a shot-cross because she was out wide, and that angle is really difficult to hit it. I don’t know that she was necessarily aiming for a shot there. She might have been trying for a cross and mishit it,” Kinneman said of Doll’s effort in the 56th minute. “It’s great to come out here on a Friday night with a lot of fans and get the win.
“Everyone has been working hard, everyone wants to win and in this game we had to really grind it out in the end. I think we had good possession in the first half and set the tone. They were really pressing us here for the second half. I’m really glad that we were able to grind it out. It’s a good start for our team, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
The final scoresheet showed the Tigers with a 21-7 advantage in total shots and an 8-2 edge in shots on goal while also leading by a 9-1 margin in corner kicks in the match.
“It’s college soccer, so if you’re up a goal in the last five or 10 minutes, there’s always going to be the other team pushing,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee of the final minutes of the match. “We’re a young team for this season. We were happy to seal it off in the end. Their pressure was really hard to break down. They kept the score line low and they pushed forward at the end to try and sneak a draw or win outright.”
The Tigers will return to the pitch on Tuesday as they welcome Louisiana-Monroe to Baton Rouge for a match that is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. The Tigers and Warhawks have squared off in four previous matches on the soccer pitch as LSU holds a 3-0-1 mark in the all-time series.
Ole Miss Takes Out ULL to Open 2013
OXFORD, Miss. – A crowd of 1,592 turned out on the opening night of the 2013 soccer season to cheer on the Rebels and were rewarded for the support as Ole Miss (1-0) defeated Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) by a score of 4-0 on Friday night.
Freshman forward Addie Forbus, the reigning record holder for goals scored in Mississippi high school history with 231 for her career, got things started for the Rebels in the 26th minute. Ole Miss would score another goal in the half and add two more in the second on the way to the season-opening victory.
“It’s a good start for our season,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “We’re happy to score four good goals and turn in a clean sheet. We moved the ball really well. Without playing an exhibition game, it can be difficult to adjust to the speed of the game early on. We struggled a bit in the first half, but overall I’m very happy with the results.
“Jennifer Miller had a great game and was just feeling it,” Mott said. “Addie (Forbus) scored quickly into her first college game. She’s a goal scorer and we hope she gets goals all year long. It was a good night for her.”
Forbus put the Rebels on the board with her shot in the 26th minute, taking a ball from senior Rafaelle Souza in the middle of the box and beat a defender one-on-one. She then launched the ball into the net to score the first goal of the season.
Miller got in on the action a few minutes later, putting the ball in the net in the 28th minute. The sophomore took the ball at the top of the box on the left side and passed the ball to herself as she dribbled past a defender before burying the ball in the net to give Ole Miss the 2-0 lead.
The Rebels held that advantage at the half, out-shooting the Ragin’ Cajuns 8-0 in the first period.
The second half saw Miller start the scoring again for the Rebels, connecting on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to extend the lead to 3-0. Sophomore Olivia Harrison dribbled into the box from the left side and was taken down by a UL-L defender, setting up the penalty kick.
Miller took the shot, driving the ball past the diving hands of the keeper for her second goal of the night.
Senior forward Mandy McCalla capped the scoring for the Rebels, putting her first goal of the season into the net in the 86th minute of play. The senior took the ball in the box off the foot of the freshman, Forbus, and sent it into the goal for the final 4-0 margin of victory.
Ole Miss will return to action on Sunday night, playing in the first road contest of the season with a 7 p.m. kick-off at UAB.
Auburn Claims Tie on the Road
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn and Clemson played to a scoreless tie in the first game of the season Friday night at the Auburn University Soccer Complex. Redshirt freshman Alyse Scott, who made her first collegiate start, saw 11 shots fired her way and saved two put on frame in the first half.
"Tonight was less about the result and more about what we learned," said head coach Karen Hoppa. "I thought in the first half we were getting pushed around and we had to learn to fight while playing against a top-notch opponent."
Playing in the season-opener, Hoppa thought her team came out with some jitters, but responded well as the game progressed.
"We had some opening-night jitters in the first half, some of it was youth, but some of it was opening-night," said Hoppa. "We did a great job of improving from the first half to the second half. We had a lot of openings against a tough opponent, but couldn't convert."
Both teams had multiple scoring chances in the second half, but neither team could find the back of the net. Auburn's best scoring chance came in the winding minutes of the second half when freshman Samantha Solaru put a shot on goal, but was deflected wide by Clemson goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan.
Auburn's first scoring chance came 19 minutes in the first half when Tori Ball headed a shot on frame, but was caught by Sheridan, who recorded three saves. Freshman Casie Ramsier led Auburn in shots with three while junior Tori Ball had two.
Auburn will return to action at 12 p.m. CT, Sunday as the Tigers travel to No. 3 Florida State. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com and will air locally on WEGL 91.1 FM.
Missouri Blasts Pacific
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Junior Taylor Grant and sophomore Reagan Russell each notched two goals and senior Danielle Nottingham tallied a goal and two assists as the Mizzou soccer team easily defeated Pacific, 5-1, Friday night in the season opener. Missouri improved to 1-0 on the year, while Pacific fell to 0-1.
Mizzou's five goals all came from Mizzou players who combined to tally just one goal in 2012. Russell's two goals were the first two of her Missouri career, Grant's were her first two since she recorded four in her freshman campaign in 2011, and Nottingham matched her goal output from a year ago, when she played in the back line.
Mizzou broke through in the 11th minute when Nottingham posted Missouri's first goal of 2012. Senior Alyssa Diggs played a short pass to Nottingham, who one-timed a six-yard shot into the back of the net. The tally was 10th of her Tiger career.
Nottingham helped put Missouri ahead 2-0 in the 26th minute with an assist on Russell's first career goal. Nottingham sent a long pass up to the box that found the foot of Russell, who eluded the Pacific keeper for Mizzou's second goal of the match.
In the 50th minute, Nottingham struck again as she sent another beautiful pass into the box. This time Grant pounced on the ball and sent a shot past Pacific's goalie for a 3-0 Mizzou advantage.
Pacific's Maricela Padilla put the visiting squad on the board in the 53rd minute when she grabbed a ball at the top of the box and shot past redshirt junior goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein. Alex Hussar assisted on the goal, which put the score at 3-1.
Russell put Mizzou up 4-1 with her second goal of the night in the 71st minute of play. Senior Brooke Williams gathered a free ball in the box after forcing a Pacific turnover. Williams passed back to Russell, who took the pass, dribbled to the right corner of the box, and unleashed a shot past Pacific's keeper.
Grant tallied Mizzou's final goal of the match when she bent a corner into the net. Mizzou outshot Pacific 17-9, including an 8-3 edge in shots on goal. Sauerwein made two saves in net for the home Tigers.
Missouri next hits the pitch on Sunday, Aug. 25 with a 1 p.m. road contest at Memphis.
Vandy Outshoots UAB but Falls 3-1
NASHVILLE - Missed opportunities doomed Vanderbilt on its opening night as the Commodores' women's soccer team outshot visiting UAB, 19-6, but lost the game by a 3-1 margin. The Blazers scored two first-half goals and held on in the face of 13 second-half shots by Vanderbilt to earn the victory.
The Commodores possessed the ball comfortably in the game's opening minutes and threatened the UAB box despite not recording a shot on goal until the 14th minute. The Blazers would tally the game's first goal against the run of play in the 29th minute. Erin Pincombe cross a ball into VU's penalty area, and a defensive miscommunication allowed Abby Phillips to get a clean header past VU goalkeeper Alexa Levick.
UAB's second goal came just six minutes later on a penalty kick. Vanderbilt was called for a foul inside their own box and UAB's Johanna Liney converted from the penalty spot.
Vanderbilt came out of halftime with new life and took a total of 13 shots in the second 45 minutes. Sophomore Jamie Kator played a number of dangerous balls off corner kicks, but repeatedly the efforts would slide past the wrong side of the goal post.
On a UAB counterattack In the 71st minute, Liney played a cross toward Vanderbilt's six-yard box and a Commodore defender headed the ball past her own keeper to make the Blazer advantage 3-0.
Vanderbilt fired six shots in the game's final 15 minutes and finally connected in the 83rd minute. After another dangerous Kator corner kick, freshman Krystina Iordanou had a point-blank shot blocked by a UAB defender, but the rebound found junior Taylor Richardson and the' left back finally put the Commodores on the board. It marks the first goal of her VU career.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Sunday, Aug. 25, when Oklahoma State visits the VU Soccer Complex for a 1 p.m. CT tilt. The Cowgirls were 1-0 winners at UT Martin on Friday night. Sunday is "Camper Reunion Day." All youth who attended 2013 Vanderbilt soccer camps can receive free admission to the game by wearing their camp t-shirt or bringing their voucher.