Breanne Vernon and the Ladyjacks fell 1-0 to the Texas A&M Aggies Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nov. 9, 2012
TAMU 1-SFA 0
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The greatest soccer season in Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks history came to an end Friday evening at the hands of the No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies, who defeated SFA 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Ellis Field.
SFA (17-4-0) finished with most single-season wins in school history and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in school history and the first time under head coach Tony Amato. Friday marked the end of a career six different SFA seniors, including Becky Johnson, Kylie Louw, Laura Sadler, Leslie Shurtleff, Abby Susman and Breanne Vernon.
"I'm so proud of my team," SFA Southland Conference Coach Amato said. "We played extremely well and we had a chance to win the game. It could have been a different game had we been able to score early."
The Ladyjacks dominated for a majority of the first half but SFA was unable to capitalize on two golden opportunities in the game's first five minutes. Shots only two minutes apart from forwards Laura Sadler and Zuri Prince missed wide left from within 10 yards of the net.
The lone goal of the night came in the 16th minute when Texas A&M (18-4-1) sophomore forward Annie Kunz was able to score off a deflected pass in front of the net. The goal was Kunz's team-leading 12th of the season and just the seventh goal allowed all season by junior goalkeeper Lacey Lee. The goal was also the first SFA had allowed since LSU's Kaley Blades did so in a 2-1 Ladyjacks loss back on Sept. 4, 2012.
"That goal was one of those things where we knew going in we had to limit her (Kunz) chances," Amato said. "Unfortunately she was able to take advantage on kind of a broken play."
In all the Ladyjacks outshot the Aggies 8-6 in the first 45 minutes, led by four shots from Prince.
In the second half SFA was outshot 12-5 and only had a few real threats at scoring. A&M threatened several times to put the game away but Lee responded with two spectacular saves as part of her five total.
At night's end the Ladyjacks were outshot 18-13 but only 6-4 shots on goal. SFA did win the corner kick battle 8-1.