Sept. 25, 2010

Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

The No. 6 Texas A&M soccer team suffered a heartbreaking, 2-1 loss in overtime to Colorado in its Big 12 opener Friday night at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.

After lightning delayed the match by an hour and 20 minutes, the Buffaloes (5-4, 1-0 Big 12) jumped on the scoreboard quickly in the fourth minute. A&M (7-3, 0-1 Big 12) evened the score early in the second period and seemed bound to score the go-ahead goal multiple times, but Colorado prevailed and Lizzy Herzl netted the golden goal in the 99th minute to give CU its second-straight win against a top-10 opponent.

"This is a tough loss," said head coach G Guerrieri. "We started off slowly, gave up two soft goals and missed a lot of opportunities, but Colorado played hard. They wanted it and did what they needed to do to win and hats off to them for an outstanding effort."

Just over three minutes into the match, Kate Russell struck the first shot from outside the penalty box. The ball went off the hands of senior goalkeeper Kelly Dyer and crept over the line to give the Buffaloes an early 1-0 lead that would last until the end of the period.

Just three minutes into the second half, however, the tables turned in favor of A&M. With early possession, redshirt sophomore Beth West controlled the ball on the left edge of the penalty area and sent in a beautiful cross that just missed the foot of senior Whitney Hooper directly in front of the goal.

The constant pressure by the Aggies paid off in the 57th minute when junior Merritt Mathias had the ball at her feet. The forward from Birmingham, Ala., was defended by three CU players, but still created her own shot from just outside the top of the box. She beat the keeper and directed the ball into the left-side netting to even the score, 1-1.

A&M sustained possession well, but could not get a head on another great cross from West in the 67th minute.

The Aggies then had a pair of great opportunities from redshirt sophomore Raven Tatum. In the 77th minute, the midfielder's hard strike from the right corner of the 18 was stopped by Annie Brunner in goal and she pounced on the rebound just before Mathias could get her foot on the ball.

Tatum followed with a strong header three minutes later. Served in by senior Alyssa Mautz, Tatum directed a shot from the corner of the six-yard box, but a Colorado defender stood on the line and headed the ball out of the goal to force an overtime period.

Under two minutes into overtime, West fired off a shot from close range that Brunner fended off. A&M followed with back-to-back corner kicks, but was unable to find its second goal of the evening.

Herzl did just that for Colorado at the 98:28 mark as she found the back of the net by dropping in a shot from outside the penalty box.

"From about the 50-minute mark on, things started to work and we started to click," said Guerrieri. "Then we scored our goal and we were playing with great energy. Colorado did good job to withstand that flurry. Even in overtime I thought we had a couple chances to finish it, but we let them back in the game and they found a way to win it. It was a terrific effort by Colorado. We're not out of the race for a Big 12 Championship, but we have to pick ourselves back up and get ready for a very motivated and tough Nebraska team."

The Aggies travel to Nebraska on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match against the Huskers who are currently riding an 18-game home unbeaten streak.