Oct. 29, 2010

Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 6 Texas A&M soccer team battled to a 1-1 tie with No. 24 Texas in double overtime Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

The Aggies (15-3-1, 8-1-1 Big 12) earned one point in Big 12 play in the draw with Texas (11-4-4, 4-3-3 Big 12), giving A&M sole possession of the regular season Big 12 trophy.

Senior Alyssa Mautz scored the lone goal for the Aggies early in the first period.

Mautz's goal came in the 12th minute when senior Amber Gnatzig sent the ball in to senior Rachel Shipley, who found Mautz on the right flank. Mautz powered a kick from 25 yards that hit the crossbar and then flew inside the far post, giving A&M a 1-0 lead early in the match.

"We were not at our best in the first half," said head coach G Guerrieri. "But that was a real eye-opening individual effort of being able to get the ball on that side to just hammer a ball underneath the crossbar. That was a shot all the way and a really good goal by Alyssa."

Texas junior Kylie Doniak was able to get a foot on the ball a minute later and clipped a high shot from just outside the box. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Dyer jumped high to pull the ball down, but it slipped through her hands and over the goalline.

The Aggie defense reacted with determination and blocked three shots on corner kicks by Doniak through the end of the first period.

A&M also had opportunities on the attack as Shipley tapped a short corner to Hooper in the 29th minute. Hooper sent the ball back to Shipley who lasered a left-footed shot that Texas goalkeeper Alexa Gaul knocked out before Mautz rebounded and skipped a hard shot just wide of the near post.

Texas A&M sophomore Chelsea Jones got a look at the goal from in the 40th minute, but sent her shot just wide of the near post and was unable to give the Aggies a lead going into the half.

The Aggies came out in full force in the second period, battling on both halves of the pitch. On offense, the Aggies rallied from a five-shot deficit in the first period to post nine shots in the second, seven of which were on frame.

In the 47th minute, a determined senior Whitney Hooper worked the ball to the endline and was fouled by a UT defender. Shipley took the free kick and lifted it to the far side of the box where junior Bri Young headed it on frame and forced a save. Five minutes later, Shipley kicked a corner to Young in the box who again nodded a shot on frame.

Young led the Aggie defense on the back line, clearing several corner kicks by the Longhorns. A&M cleared nine goal attempts on corners in the match.

Shipley, Young and Mautz led the team on offense with two shots on frame each. At midfield, junior Raven Tatum frustrated the Texas offense with her attack. Senior keeper Kristen Arnold entered the match in goal in the 27th minute and allowed no goals and posted four saves.

"I thought our defense did well," Guerrieri said. "When we came into this match we only needed a tie to win the lone trophy and we were able to do that. A big part of that was the back line. They were terrific. I thought Raven Tatum was super in front of them and Kristen Arnold came in and played fantastic."

Freshman Rachel Lenz was a major defensive contributor in both overtime periods, clashing with Texas to send the ball out of bounds and allow as few corner kicks as possible. In the overtime periods, Arnold effortlessly grabbed two shots on frame by Texas' Hannah Higgins and kept the match at a draw.

A&M travels to San Antonio next week for the Big 12 Championships Nov. 3-7. Seeded at No. 1, the Aggies will take on No. 8-seeded Colorado at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.