State Falls 2-0 To No. 6 Texas A&M On Rain-Soaked Sunday Afternoon
STARKVILLE, Miss. -Mississippi State fought No. 6 Texas A&M valiantly on a rain-soaked MSU Soccer Field Sunday afternoon, but it was unable to overcome two goals in the first 15 minutes as the Aggies escaped Starkville with a 2-0 win.
Mississippi State wrapped a four-match homestand with a 7-5-1 overall record and 0-5-1 SEC mark. Texas A&M moved atop the SEC table at 11-1-1 overall, 5-0-1 SEC.
Bulldog senior goalkeeper Skylar Rosson returned in goal after missing Friday's match against LSU. The Edmond, Okla., native stopped six shots in the contest to take over sole possession of second place on MSU's career saves list with 295.
Rosson was unable to stop the Aggies' first two shots, and that proved to be the difference against the nation's sixth-ranked team.
After junior Elisabeth Sullivan was denied by Aggie goalie Jordan Day to start the match, Texas A&M answered with the winner three minutes later on a Jayne Eadie 22-yard free kick that deflected off a player in the box and found its way inside the left post.
State fought off a TAMU scoring chance in the seventh minute as a ball batted around in the box found its way to Shea Groom in front of an empty MSU net. Sophomore Shannen Jainudeen cleared her shot off the line and out of danger.
The Bulldogs were unable to deny Groom a second time, however, as she scored the game's final goal in the 12th minute off a cross to the near post from Allie Bailey.
"I'm disappointed with the opening 15 minutes because I didn't think we competed as well as we could have. After that, we really put in a tough game and battled for every first ball and won a lot of second balls," head coach Neil Macdonald said. "I think we are very close to being a good club. It's frustrating in a way, but we know that we are getting there. If we can stop making mental mistakes, we could do very well."
State limited the Aggies' opportunities the rest of the first half, with a Karlie Mueller 40th-minute attempt being the lone on-goal chance until halftime.
Offensively, State managed five shots in the opening half, but the team stepped up the pressure and doubled that tally over the final 45 minutes.
After Rosson denied Kelley Monogue to open the final stanza, sophomore Amy Hoover had a shot for MSU that sailed just high of target and a header attempt carry just left of the post.
Sullivan had a breakaway opportunity turned back by Day in the 56th minute, and she hit a screaming shot toward the left post with 14 minutes to go that the Aggie goalie managed to stop.
Day made the last of her five saves in the 87th minute as Jasmine Simmons broke away for a 1-v.-1 chance. The Oklahoma City senior fired a shot from just outside the six-yard box, but Day dove and deflected it over the end line.
Mississippi State hits the road for its next four contests. The Dawgs venture to Auburn Friday night before trekking to the league's other newcomer, Missouri, on Sunday.
Texas A&M11-1-1 (5-0-1 SEC) vs. Mississippi State7-5-1 (0-5-1 SEC)
Date: Sep 30, 2012 Attendance: 125
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Texas A&M........... 2 0 - 2
Mississippi State... 0 0 - 0
1. 4:34 TAMU Jayne Eadie (1) (unassisted) - Free kick shot and deflected in
2. 11:03 TAMU Shea Groom (2) (Allie Bailey;Annie Kunz) - Pass across goal shot in at near post
Shots: Texas A&M 26, Mississippi State 15
Saves: Texas A&M 5 (Jordan Day 5), Mississippi State 7 (Skylar Rosson
6; TEAM 1)