Shorthanded Gamecocks Fall, 2-0, at No. 10 Texas A&M
Sept. 21, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - South Carolina fought for the upset bid but could not overcome playing down a player for a majority of the match, falling to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-0, Friday night at Ellis Field.
The Gamecocks (3-4-2, 0-2-1 SEC) played the final 50 minutes of the match with 10 players after a red card to Christa Neary left the Gamecocks shorthanded in the first SEC home match for Texas A&M. The Aggies (9-1-0, 3-0-0 SEC) scored goals in the 25th and 65th minutes to earn the victory.
It was the first red card in a South Carolina match - by either the Gamecocks or their opponents - since Shelley Smith's squad was forced to play 33 minutes with 10 players at No. 14 LSU on Oct. 25, 2009.
The Aggies had the first looks early in the sixth minute with back-to-back shots by Meghan Streight inside the 18-yard box, but the Gamecock backline was able to block the first before Dani Henry cleared the second away from the line. Less than a minute later, South Carolina turned the tables with a shot by Rae Wilson from eight yards out that required a diving save by Aggie goalkeeper Jordan Day.
The Gamecock offensive continued with Courtney Angotti-Smith stealing possession for a 2v2 opportunity, but Coryn Bajema's attempt from 25 yards out sailed over the net. The Aggies were eventually able to break open the match in the 25th minute with a headed goal by Streight off a corner kick.
South Carolina continued to press after the Aggie goal with a quick look in the 31st after Andie Romness fed an open Raina Johnson down the right flank. Johnson dribbled towards the top of the '18 and rifled a shot, but the attempt went over the net to end the threat.
The Gamecocks were dealt a big blow in the 41st minute when Christa Neary collected her second caution of the match and was ejected on a foul at midfield, leaving the Gamecocks with 10 players for the final 50 minutes of the match.
Down a player, South Carolina came out in the second half with an aggressive 4-3-2 formation in search of an equalizer. After 18 minutes of midfield soccer, the Gamecocks nearly scored the equalizer in the 64th when Day misplayed a ball into the area, leaving an empty net that Ali Whitney's header was saved out by a defender. On the counter, the Aggies were able to put the dent in South Carolina's upset hopes with a goal by Annie Kunz to make it 2-0 Texas A&M in the 65th minute.
South Carolina next travels to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). The Razorbacks defeated Kentucky 3-1 Friday night in Fayetteville.