ORANGE BEACH, Alabama - The Texas A&M Aggies got a golden goal from Emily Bates in the 103rd minute to topple the Alabama Crimson Tide, 1-0, in SEC Tournament first round action Monday evening at Orange Beach Sportsplex.
The final play was set up when goalkeeper Danielle Rice sent the ball out to Haley Pounds on the left side. Pounds dribbled past Alabama's midfield, found a gap in the Crimson Tide's backline and shot from 22 yards. Alabama goalkeeper Kat Stratton, who had been spectacular all night, was unable to corral the blast from Pounds and the carom trickled near the right post. Emily Bates blasted a shot off of Stratton's mitts. The ricochet hit the post and bounced over the goal line for the game-winner.
Texas A&M (11-7-1) was on the brink of breaking the scoring seal for much of the match, but a stellar effort from Stratton kept the Aggies off the scoreboard. The Crimson Tide's netminder made 12 saves, including six in the second half and three in overtime.
Mikaela Harvey nearly put the match away twice in the first overtime period. She had a shot from six-yards out that was stonewalled by Stratton and a first-touch shot from 12 yards that was stopped by crafty Crimson Tide defender.
The offensive numbers were overwhelmingly in favor of the Aggies. Texas A&M owned the edges in shots (26-7), shots-on-goal (14-3) and corner kicks (10-5).
Rice picked up her sixth shutout of the season making three saves on the evening.
An Aggie backline of Kendall Ritchie, McKayla Paulson, Grace Wright and Grace Piper did a bang-up job of holding Alabama's top scoring threat Abbie Boswell without a shot-on-goal for the match.
Texas A&M returns to action Wednesday when they battle SEC regular-season champion South Carolina in a 5 p.m. contest in the SEC Quarterfinal round in Orange Beach.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach G Guerrieri
On the match...
"I thought as the game went on we got stronger and stronger. We did a great job of keeping the ball and keeping Alabama on the defensive. Their goalkeeper had an outstanding game and she was the difference between us putting the game away early and having to play overtime. I thought Alabama came out and played bravely and it took a super effort at the end to win it."
Junior goalkeeper Danielle Rice
On the match...
"Alabama did a great job defensively of keeping us off the scoreboard. We got a lot of good shots, but their keeper did an outstanding job. I went over to her after the game and told her 'You were terrific. You stole it from us multiple times.' It was a fight for us, but it was nice to be able to see us keep possession and keep getting shots-on-goal.