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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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A&M soccer beats Penn State 2-1, advances to College Cup

The No. 5 Texas A&M soccer team earned their first-ever trip to the Women’s College Cup with a 2-1 victory Sunday night over the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions in the Elite 8 matchup of the NCAA Tournament.
The tournament one-seed claimed victory in its final game at Ellis Field this season with the remainder of the playoff slate set to be played in Boca Raton, Florida.
The Aggies (22-2-2) continued their habit of scoring early, with Allie Bailey launching in a goal assisted by Annie Kunz. The assist was the ninth on the year for Kunz.
Nineteen shots in total were taken in the first half, with Penn State (20-4-0) holding an 11-8 advantage over the Aggies.
Towards the end of the first half, Jordan Day made a diving save to her right, followed immediately by a diving save to her left in order to preserve the shutout for A&M with an incredible goalkeeping sequence.
“She came on a breakaway” Day said. “She shot the ball very hard. It bounced off my fingertips. I almost fell. I was trying to catch myself from falling down. I had to scramble and the wind was helping also.”
In the 53rd minute, the Nittany Lions found their way onto the scoreboard when Frannie Crouse assisted Salina Wiliford on a goal that found the top left corner of the net to sneak past Day.
“Obviously we are ecstatic for what was a very difficult match,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “I thought that Penn State was outstanding. The goal that they scored is about as good a goal as you’re ever going to see. They stretched us in a lot of ways, but I’m very proud of our players.”
Before Sunday, the Nittany Lions had not allowed more than one goal to an opponent during the year. Bailey gathered in a deflection off of a Penn State defender to turn the volley into her 10th goal of the season and her second of the night for a 2-1 lead.
“This has been a goal since freshman year,” said Bailey. “Our senior class has all been amazing leaders to lead this team this year, and the younger girls have performed so well. Even the girls that were here before us have carved the path for us to be here. It’s just an awesome feeling. Obviously, we are not done yet, but it’s so great that we could be a part of history here tonight.”
Day recorded seven saves on the night while Penn State goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom saved five on the night for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State led in shots over A&M by a mark of 20-15 as well as shots on goal with a 9-7 advantage.
It was the last game at Ellis Field in the career of seniors Meghan Streight, Bailey, Day, Shea Groom, Kunz, Leigh Edwards, Kelley Monogue, Bianca Brinson and Renee McDermott.
The ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament win at home for Guerrieri and his A&M squad has the program now preparing for a semi-final matchup against the two-seed Virginia Cavaliers. On the opposite side of the bracket, one-seeds Florida State and Stanford will face off for a chance to play in the College Cup Final.
The games are scheduled for December 5th, with A&M set to start at 4:00 p.m.

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