No. 8 USC Falls In Opener At No. 7 Texas A&M
Aug. 22, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - The No. 8 USC women's soccer team pulled a tough opponent for its 2009 season opener, taking a trip to No. 7 Texas A&M. Although the Trojans were playing on the site of their 2007 NCAA Championship, the Aggies had the winning touch on the night. Texas A&M rode the momentum of a late first-half goal toward a 3-0 win over USC on Saturday night at Aggie Soccer Stadium. USC now holds an 0-1 record on the year, with its next games coming at home next weekend. The Trojans will face Mexico in an exhibition game at 3 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 28) before playing its second official match of the year with a 3 p.m. game against St. John's on Sunday (Aug. 30) at McAlister Field.
On Saturday night in Texas, the Trojans had some early chances with a close-range shot on goal from Megan Ohai that was saved and a booming shot from Ashli Sandoval that nailed the crossbar. The first half was less than a minute from expiring as a 0-0 lockup until Texas A&M earned a late corner kick. Mary Grace Schmidt had an open look on frame and drove the header to the near post and through to lift the Aggies ahead 1-0.
With some momentum gathered from that strike, the Aggies pushed on in the second half. USC was unable to come up with an equalizer in the second, while Texas A&M managed an insulation score when Whitney Hooper got deep on the USC defense and went one-on-one with USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen. Hooper shoved the ball by a charging Olsen to put the Aggies up 2-0 in the 73rd minute. A similar Aggie attack came later. Texas A&M got loose once again on a counterattack, and Olsen slammed away the one-on-one shot. With the Aggie shooter down and lying on one of Olsen's legs, the USC senior keeper turned to face the Texas A&M stiker who had gathered in the rebound of her save. From her knees, Olsen reached up for a second save on the shot attempt, squelching the Aggies' dangerous look on goal.
USC pressed hard in the remaining time, and had the full squad pulled up for a corner kick opportunity in the 86th minute. Texas A&M cleared the USC chance deep, where Olsen was the last line of defense. Olsen knocked the ball away from the Aggies, but on the USC defense's retreat, Alyssa Mautz launched a deep ball over the Trojans and in line for goal. The Aggies got to the ball before it reached the net, and Amber Gnatzig touched it in for a third Texas A&M goal. Olsen finished the game with eight saves to tie her career high, which coincidentally had been set in the 2007 NCAA Semifinal on the same field.
Three Women of Troy scored the first starting opportunity of their careers in USC's 2009 opener, with sophomores Chelsea Buehning and Claire Schloemer starting on the USC back line and freshman Samantha Johnson starting at forward. Seeing their first time on the field as Trojans in the game in addition to Johnson were USC freshmen Courtney Garcia and Kelly Morgan.
USC's next official game will be next Sunday (Aug. 30) at 3 p.m. vs. St. John's at the Trojans' home McAlister Field.
#7 Texas A&M 3, #8 USC 0
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 8, Kristin Arnold (TAMU) 2, Kelly Dyer (TAMU) 0.
SHOTS: USC 10, TAMU 25.
CORNER KICKS: USC 8, TAMU 5.