The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Aggies' season draws to a close on penalty kicks

28 days ago
Texas A&M Athletics
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies had their 2017 campaign come to an end Friday in NCAA Championship second round play. Texas A&M and Notre Dame played to a 2-2 draw through 110 minutes and the Fighting Irish prevailed in the penalty kick shootout, 4-1.

In the shootout, Notre Dame got successful PKS from Natalie Jacobs, Taylor Klawunder, Jennifer Westendorf and Ginny McGowan. For Texas A&M, Ally Watt made the first attempt, but Emily Bates and Brittany Crabtree both had their shots stonewalled by Fighting Irish goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas.

The draw ended Texas A&M's school-record 14-match win streak. It also ended the Aggies' 11-match win streak in NCAA Championship home matches. The Maroon & White finished with an 18-2-2 mark and won the SEC Tournament Championship for their 17th league title.

The Aggies scored the icebreaker in the 37th minute. With both squads battling on an even keel, Mikaela Harvey broke through with a 30-yard missile from the right channel to the left side-netting.

Notre Dame tied the match in the 43rd minute. Sabrina Flores stripped the ball from an Aggie defender on the right side of the penalty box and sent a cross to Eva Hurm who punched her first touch under the crossbar for her first goal of the season.

The Fighting Irish had the halftime edge in shots (12-6) and shots-on-goal (5-4), but the Aggies held a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.

Notre Dame took their first lead of the game in the 83rd minute. A Fighting Irish forward may have been fouled in the box and Natalie Jacobs stepped up to take the penalty kick.

Emily Bates came up with late match heroics again for the Aggies, tying the match in the 88th minute. Addie McCain dumped a ball into the penalty box and Bates got onto the end of the service, putting in a shot from the right corner of the six-yard box, past the keeper on the right.

For the match, Texas A&M owned the edge in corner kicks (9-2) while Notre Dame held the advantage in shots (24-17) and shots-on-goal (10-6).

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach G Guerrieri

Opening Statement... "That's two years in a row now losing in PKs to a fine team, a well-versed team that played well. For them to jump on us with their first goal, which was a mistake on us. For that girl to get as much on it as she did to draw the penalty kick was good on their part. I thought we created some good chances, had some good looks. We didn't get a couple handballs called for us that is just part of soccer, just the way it goes. I'm proud of our players and the grit of our team to come from behind. Emily Bates got the tying goal and it was the typical way this team has gone about things all season. They don't let the things happen. They take every opportunity they can to get as much out of the event as they can. These two next to me (Watt and Richie) were outstanding in causing a lot of trouble for the Notre Dame defense. You have to give their defense a lot of credit for being able to hold them off. They took four great penalties in the shootout to move on. We wish them well on Sunday against Baylor."

On the PKs... "We worked on them every day for the past seven weeks. It's a little uncommon for us to not bury them. You have to give their goalie a lot of credit. She was quick and she did a great job making saves. She did the same thing on a couple of those corners that i was sure were going in. She did a great job in keeping them out."