Ashton Hall had a team-high four shots for Utah this evening
Nov. 15, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A gallant performance by Utah soccer was just not enough this evening as it lost in overtime during the first round of the 2013 College Cup at No. 13 Texas A&M, 1-0.The Utes finished the season 10-5-6 after reaching the NCAA Tournament for a sixth time in program history.
"I'm proud of our team, and these kids in how far they've come in four years, some four and a half years," head coach Rich Manning said. "From being a Mountain West team, and having this challenge thrown at them, we've gone to the Pac-12 and dealt with these incredible opponents week in and week out. To see them build their confidence to be better and better, and more importantly, drag their teammates with them. To show them a new standard, and create a level of play and expectation that just wasn't there."
Allie Bailey scored the winner for the Aggies (18-4-1), champions of the Southeastern Conference. Her ninth goal of the season, two minutes into overtime, proved to be the only blemish on a night of near spotless defending by the Utes.
"Texas A&M is a fantastic team," Manning said. "I thought we had some opportunities in the counter, and we didn't quite have the quality in the last pass, or the touch. But our kids played so well tonight, and did some really good things. It was our 11th overtime game. I don't think I can tell them anything different from what they've heard already other than please hurry up and end this thing. At the beginning of the overtime that was our big talk; let's get a good grip on the ball. Actually, we had two or three good possessions and a few opportunities that just didn't click."
Utah took 12 shots in the contest, getting three on frame, while Texas A&M had 20 chances with Ute goalkeeper Lindsey Luke making eight saves. The Aggies also held a 7-2 edge on corner kicks.
Kaycee Buckley had the first shot of the match for either team but hooked it wide to the left in the opening minutes. The Aggies answered with a great chance to grab the lead in the 10th minute but Luke stopped an effort by Bianca Brinson.
Shortly after, Jenny Hutton had a try deflected high which resulted in a Utah corner kick. On the ensuing attempt, Katie Taylor fired one over the bar. Texas A&M took possession and created a goal-scoring chance for Annie Kunz. However, Luke notched another save on a low, sinking shot.
Baylee Nielsen conjured a corner kick with nice work in the midfield area and a through ball to Taylor Slattery during the 33rd minute. The sophomore then wriggled free on the attempt and put a chance just wide of goal. The Utes were able to maintain possession long enough for Slattery to have an attempt blocked by an Aggie defender and Hall whizz one just over the goal. The pressure continued as Buckley sent an attempt painstakingly wide.
In the waning moments of the half, a Utah foul set up a dangerous free kick for the Aggies. Luke was up to the task, making a save on Meghan Streight.
Utah earned a free kick just inside midfield to start the second half and Hutton delivered a great ball that resulted in Slattery narrowly missing wide. Hall would also miss wide as the Utes kept it down in the offensive zone against the Aggies.
Luke's first action in the second half occurred when she stopped Karlie Mueller in the 52nd minute. Hall continued to pepper the home goal when the junior headed an attempt just over the bar five minutes later.
A nice give-and-go a few moments later freed Slattery who was stopped by Day. With less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Luke was pressed into action again when she denied Brinson. The sophomore also stopped Kelley Monogue and the rebound try by Bailey. Play remained back-and-forth as Katie Rigby was stone-walled on a chance in the 86th and the game headed to overtime.
This was the 11th OT game for the Utes and fourth in a row to lose the season. Utah finished third in the Pac-12 this year, their best finish since joining the conference.
"We've achieved a lot," senior Allie Wisner said. "These people (the seniors) are leaving behind a legacy. We're reaching dreams that people laughed at us for having. This group fought hard to change things in the program, really get people on board with chasing those big dreams. I know we're all happy to be here in this moment. I know everyone here is leaving behind a legacy for those young players to keep coming back to the tournament. I am so proud of that team, our team, and am really excited to see the things they do in the future."