SANDY, Utah — Texas A&M Soccer legend Shea Groom earned multiple honors as she led the Houston Dash to a 2-0 victory over Chicago Red Stars in the championship match of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2020 Challenge Cup Sunday afternoon at Rio Tinton Stadium.
Her effort in the tournament earned Groom a spot on the Challenge Cup Best XI presented by Google.
Groom sealed the championship match by racing, from the midfield stripe past two defenders, to chase down a long ball and beat the keeper one-on-one, scoring from 17 yards out in second half stoppage time to give the Dash a 2-0 edge.
The goal earned Groom Secret Deodorant No Sweat Play of the Game distinction, as well as garnering Budweiser Woman of the Match recognition.
Groom started all seven matches for the Dash in the Challenge Cup, racking up 580 minutes on the pitch. She registered three goals and one assist in the tournament. Traded to the Dash over the offseason, Groom scored a goal in each of the first two games with her new squad, including a 3-3 draw with Utah Royals FC and a 2-0 win over OL Reign.
Fellow Aggie Alyssa Mautz is a member of the Red Stars, but did not seen action in the tournament while recovering from a knee injury.
With the NWSL’s 2020 regular season and playoffs canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Challenge Cup was presented as a one-off tournament with all the games played behind closed doors. The group stage and quarterfinal matches were played at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, with the semifinals and championship match slated for Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Groom is in her sixth season in the NWSL. She started her career with her hometown squad FC Kansas City, where she was a fan favorite for three seasons. She tallied 17 goals and eight assists in 54 matches. In her rookie campaign, FCKC claimed the NWSL title. She spent the last two seasons with Sky Blue FC (2018) and Seattle Reign (2019).
The Liberty, Missouri, native is one of the most decorated players in the history of Aggie Soccer. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America in both 2013 (second team) and 2014 (first team). In 2014, she was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year as well as earning CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team accolades.