Texas A&M picked a great time to get it’s first-ever women’s soccer victory against Penn State.
Allie Bailey scored in each half as the fifth-seeded Aggies eliminated the eighth-seeded Nittany Lions 2-1 on Saturday.
Texas A&M (22-2-2 overall) advances to the College Cup for the first time ever and will face Virginia at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Boca Raton, Fla. Penn State, the Big Ten regular-season champion, finished 20-4-0.
The contest couldn’t have started much worse for the Nittany Lions, who were 3-0-2 against the Aggies.
Just 4:42 into the contest, Bailey struck for the first time. The senior scored her ninth goal of the season, converting on a pass across the face of the goal from Annie Kunz to beat Penn State keeper Britt Eckerstrom.
The Nittany Lions held an 11-8 edge in shots for the first 45 minutes, but Jordan Day stopped three attempts.
Penn State got even 7 1/2 minutes into the second half. Salina Williford took a pass boomed a shot past Day from the top of the 18-foot box.
The euphoria for the Nittany Lions was short-lived. Eckerstrom was able to tip one shot over the crossbar to prevent a score, but Bailey converted again about 5 1/2 minutes after Williford’s goal. Bailey’s hustle play off a pass from Bianca Brinson led to the score from 58 feet out.
Both teams had scoring chances from there. Kunz hit the left post with about 24 minutes left. Mallory Weber and Haleigh Echard had opportunities for Penn State and the Aggies’ Kelley Monogue was just wide on a free kick with 3 1/2 minutes left.
Penn State finished with a 20-15 edge in shots. Day stopped eight shots, while Eckerstrom had five saves.