Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ATH: Them girls just keep on rolling

Gnatzig and West Score in 2-0 Shutout of Iowa State
A&M wins fifth-consecutive Big 12 match
Oct. 12, 2008

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M junior Amber Gnatzig and freshman Beth West each scored goals in the second half to lead the No. 7 Aggie soccer team to a 2-0 shutout of Iowa State on Sunday afternoon at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.

A&M (12-1-1, 5-0-1) won its fifth-consecutive Big 12 match to improve its unbeaten streak to 11 straight. The Aggies have given up just one goal in conference play and remain in first place in the league. The Cyclones dropped to 5-8-1 overall and 0-4-1 in the Big 12.

"It's another three points," said head coach G Guerrieri. "It's not the way that we had it drawn up, but with a young team like this sometimes they rarely are the way that you expect them to go. I thought Iowa State did a great job. They were very organized they kept us in check in a lot of things. When you play against a team that's well coached and committed like that, then you're going to have to go out and do more than just `play your position'."

Gnatzig did just that and put the Aggies on top with her fourth goal of the season in the 80th minute of play. The midfielder from Humble, Texas, finished a bending ball inside the six-yard box on a corner kick from freshman Becca Herrera. Gnatzig collected the loose ball on the left side of the box and had space and time to send a strike through traffic inside the far back post.

West provided the final margin just over a minute later with her second goal of the year. Senior Laura Grace Robinson was outside the arc and brought the ball to West just outside the penalty area. The Centennial, Colo., native blasted a shot into the upper-left corner, to give A&M a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Dyer recorded her fifth clean sheet of the season by making four saves in 12 shot attempts by the Cyclones. A&M finished with 27 shots, 10 of which were on goal, and held a commanding 13-1 edge in corner kicks.

The two teams went into halftime scoreless despite the Aggies firing off 10 shots to seven from Iowa State. Each team put three strikes on frame and A&M held the advantage on corner kicks, 6-0.

The Aggies brought a dangerous attack in the 11th minute as sophomore Whitney Hooper dribbled the ball towards the end line inside the six-yard box. Her shot went wide, but was picked up by West and a second chance was kicked out by a Cyclone defender on the goal line.

Continuing to control play in the second half, the Aggies had a chance to take a 3-0 lead with four min remaining. A ball was sent into the penalty box and Cyclone keeper Ashley Costanzo came charging, but a speedy Hooper got her foot on the ball first and flicked it on towards the goal. Iowa State's Rachel Brcic saved the A&M attempt as she sprinted in under a big bounce to clear the ball off the back line.

After ending a four-game home stand, the Aggies take to the road on Friday traveling to Lawrence, Kan., to face the Jayhawks. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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