Photo by Elisabeth Schmitt, TexAgs
Texas A&M Soccer

Goals from Watt, McCain lift Aggies over TCU to advance to Sweet 16

November 16, 2018
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The No. 16 Texas A&M soccer team took down TCU, 2-0 on Friday afternoon to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Ally Watt netted the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute, a wonder strike from 22 yards out. Addie McCain iced the match with a beautiful strike from the top of the box in the 76th minute.

The Aggies started the match in a 4-5-1 formation for the second consecutive time, with forward Ally Watt the lone forward.

Elisa Schmitt, TexAgs
Ally Watt scored the game-winning goal for the Aggies in the 52nd minute. 

Defender Karlina Sample, who missed the majority of the season recovering from an ACL injury, earned her second collegiate start, anchoring the defensive line at center back. Briana Alston, who has started every match this season, did not play in the match.

A&M got off to a strong start in the match and were able to create some chances via counterattacks but lacked their usual offensive firepower. The A&M defense was stellar and shut down TCU’s leading goal-scorer, Messiah Bright. A&M goalkeeper Cosette Morche made a fingertip save in the 83rd minute, knocking it out for a corner and keeping the Aggies two-goal lead intact.

“I was very proud of the way we defended. Karlina Sample was great once again in the middle of the backline,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “Cosette (Morché) was outstanding in her leadership back there. When we needed saves she made them.”

The Aggies closed out the first half with some great chances on goal, however, TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, who stars on the U20 Mexican National team, made some fantastic saves to keep her team in the game. The maroon and white weren’t able to convert their chances, and the game remained deadlocked, 0-0, at the half.

“We just weren’t performing our best and knew we were capable of so much more,” Watt said of

“We just weren’t performing our best, and knew we were capable of so much more.”
- Ally Watt said of A&M’s first-half performance

A&M’s first-half performance. “I think it just took us reflecting and knowing that we just needed to get the ball down and play our soccer. We did that in the second half and got the win.”

The maroon and white came out red hot after the intermission, getting more numbers forward and building attacks out of the back. The Aggies also put more pressure on the Horned Frog defense in order to lure them into making a mistake. The improved offensive effort paid dividends just seven minutes into the half, as A&M forward Ally Watt stole the ball from a TCU defender and ripped a shot into the far post-upper-90 from 22 yards out.

“Their keeper was making amazing saves. I haven’t shot from distance in a while, so I thought I’d give it a shot,” Watt said. “She was stopping all my shots inside the box and I watched the England match yesterday (vs. USA) and I saw a goal from outside the box and thought ‘Why not?’”

The Aggies continued to be the aggressor in the match, keeping TCU on their heels and hitting seven shots on goal in the second half alone. In the 76th minute, Addie McCain settled a deflected corner kick at the top of the 18-yard box and ripped a fantastic half-volley into the left side of the net to give the Aggies their second and final goal of the match.

The win advances the Aggies to their 15th Sweet 16 in program history on Sunday where they will take on the winner of Tennessee/Arizona. Kickoff of the Sweet 16 game will occur at 4:00 p.m.

“This will be our 15th trip to the Sweet Sixteen, which I think all of our former players helped set up,” Guerrieri said. “It wouldn’t have happened today without some incredible performances from a lot of players all around the pitch.”

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Goals from Watt, McCain lift Aggies over TCU to advance to Sweet 16

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