Oct. 24, 2010

Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M senior Rachel Shipley scored on a penalty kick in the first period to give the No. 6 Aggie soccer team their 11th Big 12 Championship with a 1-0 win over No. 5 Oklahoma State Sunday at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.

The Aggies (15-3, 8-1 Big 12) clenched the regular season conference championship in the defeat of the Cowgirls (14-3-1, 7-2 Big 12), extending A&M's winning streak to eight matches, with eight shutouts on the season.

"After two years, I'm glad that the girls won our trophy back," said head coach G Guerrieri. "It feels good. It's a big relief. Sometimes when you win championships, you think you're always going to win them, and when you're not the champions, you wonder if you're ever going to do it again."

From Plano, Texas, Shipley powered the penalty kick into the net in the 20th minute after Senior Whitney Hooper was taken down hard in the box. Oklahoma State's Melinda Mercado, received a yellow card on the foul.

Less than a minute later, senior Alyssa Mautz served a pass to Hooper at six yards, drawing OSU's Adrianna Franch out to make a diving save.

The swarming Texas A&M defense allowed only two shots on frame in the first period and smothered several cross attempts by OSU.

Junior Bri Young started the second period with a kick on frame in the first ten seconds. The Aggies forced three saves in the match.

The A&M defense held the Cowgirls to just four shots in the second period, with only one on frame. OSU's leading scorer, Krista Lopez, was unable to get a look at the goal in the entire match.

In a back-and-forth second half, junior Rachael Balaguer made a sliding play to break up a shot by Mercado before Hooper posted another shot on frame in the 67th minute. She dribbled through three defenders on a long pass from junior Raven Tatum and went one-on-one with Franch , forcing her to make her final save of the match.

"[Whitney] is a very technical player," said Guerrieri. "Her ability to turn with the ball on a dime to bring it down under pressure with people on her shoulders is a skill that I think people overlook. She is so darn fast."

A&M outshot the Cowgirls 14-10, and finished ahead 4-3 on goal. Hooper had a game-high four shots with two on target.

The Aggies travel to Austin Friday to face Texas in the final match of the regular season.