Arizona soccer end year with 7-2 loss to Texas A&M Aggies

Brian Peel

In what had been mostly a dream season, Arizona soccer’s 2014 run came to a crashing end Friday night as the Wildcats were blown out by the No. 1 seed Texas A&M Aggies in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. In a rematch of an early September tilt that ended in a 2-2 tie, the Wildcats (11-8-2) could do nothing to slow down the Aggies and fell by a final score of 7-2 on the road in College Station, Texas.

After an early flurry from the Wildcats that failed to produce anything, the Aggies got the game’s first goal in the 15th minute when Annie Kunz was in the right place at the right time and scored off of a deflection on a free kick that was taken from midfield.

A mistake from the Wildcat defense made it 2-0 Texas A&M in the 18th minute as Aggie Kelley Monogue found open space near the Arizona goal after a throw-in from one of her teammates bounced over the heads of the Wildcat defenders and gave senior goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman no chance at the save.

Moments later, it was 3-0 as Monogue again got open and this time finished with the head after receiving a well-placed cross from a teammate.

With Arizona’s offense producing very little pressure on the Aggies, Texas A&M continued to push forward and made the score 4-0 in the 32nd minute after Allie Bailey’s shot from just inside the 18-yard box deflected off Wildcat defender Sheaffer Skadsen and past a diving Kaufman.

To close the first half, Bailey scored the Aggie’s fifth goal with a perfectly struck ball into the top corner of the net with just a little over two minutes remaining.

According to a UA press release, Wildcat head coach Tony Amato knew the team was in trouble after the hot start from the Aggies.

“I think they just started the game with the pedal to the floor,” Amato said. “They scored and the crowd got into it, and they just started flying. If soccer had timeouts, I would’ve called one there to let our girls regroup. They just grabbed the momentum at that point and it was just too hard to overcome.”

Even with a comfortable five-goal lead at halftime, Texas A&M wasn’t finished dismantling Arizona as SEC Offensive Player of the Year Shea Groom blasted a ball past Kaufman at the 47th minute mark.

The Wildcats finally got on the board in the 51st minute when senior forward Ali Doller headed in a flip throw-in from Jaden DeGracie. The goal was Doller’s eighth of the season, tied for sixth best in Arizona soccer history.

After another goal from the Aggies off of a free kick, Arizona junior defender Hayley Estopare scored her second goal of the season, and the game’s last, when she knocked in a loose ball that Texas A&M failed to clear out.

Following the game, Amato could do nothing but congratulate the Aggies for their dominating performance.

“We ran into a really good team tonight,” Amato said. “They were firing on all cylinders and it felt like everything they shot in the first half went in. There are a lot of good players on that A&M team, and I expect them to make a good run in this tournament. I thought we started well. We had a couple chances, didn’t finish them, and once they got their goal they came after us. It was a long game.”

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