|SUNDAY SOCCER SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|North Carolina 2, Texas A&M 0
|Duke 2, Arkansas 2 (3OT, DU advances on PKs 5-3)
Aggies’ Season Comes to End with 2-0 Loss at UNC
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina -- The No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies yielded a goal in the first three minutes of both halves and dropped a 2-0 decision to the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels in the third round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship at Felzer Field on Sunday.
The Aggies ended the season with an 18-5-2 overall record. They claimed a share of their first-ever SEC regular-season title and won the SEC Tournament crown in Orange Beach. The success continued into the NCAA Championship as the Aggies made their 19th consecutive appearance, moved on to the second round for the 16th consecutive season and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 12th time in program history.
The Tar Heels drew first blood in the third minute of action. From 20 yards out, Summer Green boomed a low driving ball into a cluttered penalty box and the shot deflected off an Aggie defender past a diving goalkeeper Jordan Day for Green’s eight goal of the season and a 1-0 lead 2:51 into the contest.
The Aggies had a pair of chances to knot the game in the first half, but were unable to convert. In the seventh minute, Shea Groom sent in a missile from 10 yards out, but Carolina netminder Anna Sieloff made the save. In the 12th minute, Annie Kunz sent a shot in from 18 yards out, but it went two feet right of frame.
North Carolina held the offensive advantage in first half stats, including 10-4 in shots, 3-1 in shots-on-goal and 6-2 in corner kicks.
The Tar Heels took advantage of a penalty kick opportunity 1:36 into the second half. Green drove a shot into the penalty box that bounced off an A&M defender. The assistant referee deemed a hand-ball occurred on the play. Green stepped up to the penalty spot and converted for her second goal of the match and a 2-0 lead.
The Aggies set up multiple enviable scoring attempts in the second half but were unable to break the scoring seal. In the 50th minute, Annie Kunz sent a shot in from the penalty spot, but Sieloff was able to push the shot right of the frame for the save. In the 55th minute, Kelley Monogue launched a shot from 12 yards out but it went two feet north of the crossbar. Monogue hit a low driving shot from 20 yards out in the 57th minute, but Sieloff was able to make a diving save.
Texas A&M’s final prime scoring opportunity came in the 71st minute. Shea Groom was headed to a one-on-one with the Tar Heels’ netminder. With Sieloff charging outside the penalty box, Groom chipped the ball goalward but was taken out by Sieloff before she could continue her run. In lieu of the rulebook red card, Sieloff was issued a yellow card. Kelley Monogue took the ensuing free kick from 19 yards out, but Sieloff made a spectacular save to keep the Aggies off the board.
For the match, North Carolina owned the edge in shots (19-11), shots-on-goal (7-4) and corner kicks (8-5).
Day made four saves in goal for the Aggies. Sieloff also made four saves to earn the shutout for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels will play either Stanford or UCLA in the NCAA Championship quarterfinal next weekend in Chapel Hill.
Arkansas Soccer Falls To Duke In Penalty Kicks
DURHAM, N.C. –- The University of Arkansas soccer team tied Duke in the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament, 2-2, before falling in penalty kicks, 5-3. It was the first time the Razorbacks faced penalty kicks this season.
A historic razorback soccer season took Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, picking up wins over Oklahoma State and St. John’s to advance to the Sweet 16. The Razorbacks battled from behind twice in the third round NCAA matchup, but two scoreless overtime periods would send the game to penalty kicks where Duke took the win, 5-3.
The Razorback (15-8-1) defense was working hard against the Blue Devil (10-8-5) offense in the first half, as Duke fired off nine shots during the first 45 minutes of play. It wasn’t until the 36th minute, when a pass from Christina Gibbons found Kim DeCesare and the Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead. Cameron Carter picked up four saves in the first half and the Razorback back line was relentless in holding off some dangerous chances by Duke.
The second half saw a spark in the Arkansas offense as they Razorbacks would fight back from two separate deficits. Trailing, 1-0, in the 67th minute, a corner kick by Allie Tripp found the head of Ashleigh Ellenwood in the box who sent the ball to the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1. But Duke would answer as DeCesare picked up her second goal of the game to take a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute. Just two minutes later, the second half surge would continue for the Razorbacks as Ellenwood connected with Alexandria Fischer for the goal and Arkansas tied it up again, 2-2.
“It was an exciting game and I thought indicative of this group” said Head Coach Colby Hale. “We were down and fought back twice. That’s just how this team does it. We can play from behind as well as any team in the country. Nothing fazes them."
With both teams unable to score in the final minutes of regulation, the Razorbacks and Blue Devils headed to overtime. Several chances for both teams were held off by battling defenses and the match moved to penalty kicks. Duke earned the win in penalty kicks, 5-3, ending a historic ride for the Razorbacks.
“We had great leadership this season and some young players stepped up late,” Hale said of his team’s depth. “Anyone, at any moment, could step up and win games for us. They fight and battle and let the results take care of themselves."
Ellenwood picked up her 14th goal of the season against the Blue Devils, while Fischer’s game-tying goal marked her third of the season. Cameron Carter stood behind a tough Razorback defense Sunday afternoon, recording 12 saves to tie her season-high. The Arkansas defense held the Blue Devils to just two goals in 26 attempts.
“It’s not the prettiest, and we’re not going to get a lot of style points, but they battle for 90 minutes, or 110 – however long it takes,” said Hale. “We are super proud of the girls and they know it. Their heads are high and they know they played well.
The Razorbacks end the record-setting 2013 season at 15-8-1, a program-best for Razorback Soccer.