COLLEGE STATION, Texas — SEC Freshman of the Year Barbara Olivieri registered her second brace of the season and the Aggies’ backline recorded their fourth consecutive shutout as No. 11 Texas A&M topped the No. 15 South Florida Bulls in Friday afternoon’s NCAA Division I Championship second round action at Macpherson Stadium.
The victory sent Texas A&M to the Sweet Sixteen for the 16th time. The Aggies play No. 19 Oklahoma State or South Alabama on Wednesday in an effort to make their seventh Elite Eight.
Olivieri, who also scored two goals against Mississippi State, provided the icebreaker on a penalty kick in the 49th minute and added an insurance goal in the 66th minute. The penalty kick was set up when Lauren Geczik made a strong move into the box and was clipped by a South Florida defender. The second goal was set up by a long pass by Taylor Pounds deep in the left corner where Laney Carroll outran the Bulls’ backline to turn the corner and offer up the point-blank goal for Olivieri.
The Aggies were unable to break the scoring seal in the first half despite holding the advantage in shots (9-4) and shots-on-goal (5-2). Corner kicks were even, 2-2, in the opening act.
Kenna Caldwell made five saves in the match to record her seventh shutout of the season. The backline of Kendall Bates Kate Colvin, Taylor Pounds, Karlina Sample and Katie Smith held South Florida to five shots-on-goal for the match as the Maroon & White hung up their ninth clean sheet of the year.
For the match, Texas A&M held the edge in shots (13-12) and shots-on-goal (9-5) while USF owned a 4-3 corner kick advantage.
49’ | TAMU – Lauren Geczik draws a penalty in the box. Barbara Olivieri buries a confident shot. A&M 1, USF 0.
66’ | TAMU – Taylor Pounds sends a long ball into the left corner. Laney Carroll outruns South Florida’s backline, gets to ball five yards off the end line and speeds past the containing defender into the 18-yard box. Carroll delivers a pass across the top of the six-yard box to the far post where Olivieri sends in a point blank shot. A&M 2, USF 0.
The Aggies play an NCAA Third Round match at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5 in Cary, North Carolina. Texas A&M faces the winner of Friday night’s match between No. 19 Oklahoma State and South Alabama.