BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Mia Pante's high-effort goal in the 22nd minute proved the difference maker as Texas A&M won its NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship first round match, blanking Colorado 1-0 Friday before 1,659 fans at Ellis Field.
The Aggies (10-7-4) advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 1 overall seed Florida State next Friday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles downed Morehead State 5-0 in their first-round match.
Pante's hustle play for the winner highlighted an entertaining, end-to-end match on a misty and cool evening.
With a Colorado defender going to ground to attempt to clear a loose ball in the Aggies' attacking third, Pante charged and made contact with the clearance about 30 yards from goal. The ball deflected high into the air towards the goal, and with the keeper off her line, snuck just under the bar and past the diving goalie to find the back of the net.
Kenna Caldwell finished the night with her seventh shutout of the season in goal, registering five saves against the Buffaloes' attack. She spoiled a golden Colorado scoring chance in the 15th minute, going into the air to her left and making a diving stop of a hard shot from 20 yards out to keep the Buffs off the board.
Adysen Armenta and the rest of the back line of alliteration including Carolyn Calzada, Macy Matula and Margo Matula hounded the Buffaloes' leading scorer all night, holding Shyra James without a shot-on-goal as Texas A&M posted its 10th clean sheet of the year. The Aggies held a slight edge in shots on the evening, 13-11, while corners were even at seven.
The victory was the Aggies' 40th all-time in NCAA Tournament play and they advanced to the second round for the 25th time in the last 27th seasons. Only North Carolina has played in the second round more times over the span.