ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – The No. 21 Texas
A&M Aggies earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Auburn Tigers in
quarterfinal action of the 2013 SEC Women's Soccer Tournament at the
Orange Beach Sportsplex on Wednesday afternoon.
Junior Allie Bailey notched the only goal of the match in the 17th minute of action. Sophomore Karlie Mueller served as catalyst on the attack, sending a service into the box from distance. Junior Shea Groom collected the offering near the penalty spot and dumped a pass to the left to Bailey. From 12 yards out Bailey sent a low line drive that deflected off a Tiger defender at the top of the six-yard box and into the right side netting for the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies won a large majority of the 50-50 balls in the first half and dominated the possession. A&M owned a 14-1 edge in shots and a 5-0 advantage in shots-on-goal in the first half.
Auburn's Alicen Wright made four saves in the first half, to keep the Aggies' lead from swelling. She made a punch save over the crossbar on a shot from Kelley Monogue in the eighth minute that would have broken the scoring seal. On the ensuing corner kick, Wright made another save on a missile from Groom from eight yards out.
The Tigers' best chance to score came with four minutes remaining in the match when Samantha Solaru unleashed a shot from 10 yards out, but Mueller made the defensive save on the backline to keep Auburn off the board.
Despite having fewer scoring chances in the second half, Texas A&M still owned an 8-6 edge in shots and a 2-1 margin in shots-on-goal.
The Aggies' played smothering defense to record their seventh shutout of the season. A&M held Auburn without a shot-on-goal for the first 53 minutes of the match, the Tigers' only SOG of the game. Day made one save to pick up her fifth shutout of the season and the 28th of her career. It marked Day's 47th career victory, one shy of third place on the Maroon and White's all-time list for goalkeepers.
The loss ended Auburn's season with an 8-9-4 record and snapped a four-match win streak and seven-match unbeaten string.
With the win, the Aggies improved to 15-4-1 on the season. It marks the 10th consecutive season that A&M has reached the 15-win mark and the 19th time in the 21-year history of the program.
The Aggies, winners of 10 of their last 11 matches, play the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks at 6:30 pm on Friday. The Gamecocks defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 4-0, on Wednesday.