Photo by Jackie Ysaquirre, TexAgs
Texas A&M Soccer

Watt's sudden death goal lifts Aggies over North Texas, 1-0

November 9, 2018

An Ally Watt volley lifted the 3-seed Aggies over North Texas 1-0 in the 109th minute and advanced the maroon and white to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

With just a matter of seconds left before a potential penalty kick shootout, Watt slipped past the Mean Green defense and headed a bouncing ball into the 18-yard box. She then kicked it up into the air luring the goalkeeper in and volleyed it to the far post — just over the keeper’s reach.

“Honestly I can’t remember what happened when I scored that goal. I just knew that I had to get in there and do what I could with it,” Watt said.

“Honestly I can’t remember what happened when I scored that goal. I just knew that I had to get in there and do what I could with it."
- Ally Watt

Despite the dramatic finish, the goal didn’t come as a complete surprise as Watt has developed a clutch gene — netting game-winners against Auburn and South Carolina earlier this season.

“I told the girls at halftime that if they are going to score on us it’s going to be number 1. She’s a great player,” North Texas head coach John Hedlund said. “She’s a handful up top for anyone and she showed that.”

Watt’s goal came after the Aggies dominated the majority of the match — outshooting the Mean Green 29 to 11. The maroon and white gave UNT goalkeeper Kelsey Brann, who had a career-high 11 saves, just about everything she could handle in the match. 

“She had a really good game today I would say that. She had some amazing saves, I don’t know how she got a hand of some of those balls,” Watt said. “We just knew that if we just kept hitting it on frame that one of them would have to go in.”

The Aggies made some adjustments to the 3-5-2 formation that they have employed for the majority of the season switching to a 4-5-1. Freshman Karlina Samples notched her first collegiate start on the Aggie backline and anchored the defense.

“I was really pleased with the play of our defense, it’s really nice to get a shutout,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “I thought that Karlina Sample came into the backline and was just fantastic.”

The defense faced a bit of a scare in the 34th minute as a Mean Green forward fired a shot into the upper part of the goal. Standing on the goal line, A&M defender Briana Alston was able to get the top of her head on the ball to prevent it from going into the goal.

“I saw the ball and I knew that it was going to hit Briana,” A&M goalkeeper Cosette Morche said. “She saved us and she saved me and I am so thankful for her being there.”

The atmosphere at Ellis Field was electric tonight, but, it might have been the last match of the season at Ellis Field as Stanford would have to lose in order for the Aggies to potentially host an Elite 8 game.

“We love playing in front of the 12th Man,” Watt said. “I’ve talked to some players on other teams who have played here say the atmosphere is crazy. We love it and we feed off of the energy that they bring. We do find that we play better at home.”

The Aggies will now travel to Knoxville, Tennessee where they will take on TCU in the Round of 32 on Friday.

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