Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I Women's Tournament is the presence of Texas A&M. The Aggies, who struggled late in the season, have gotten hot in the
postseason and reached the quarterfinals, where they will meet North Carolina Friday in Chapel Hill.
A&M (18-4-1) advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth time in the program's
history with a 2-1 win at Florida on Sunday. They came back from a goal down and won on goals by Laura Grace Robinson
and Jennifer Kmezich
46 seconds apart late in the first half.
Coach G Guerrieri
has the youngest team in the quarterfinals. He started
five freshman starters against Florida, and all three subs, including Kmezich, were freshmen.
Starters Beth West
, Rachel Herrera
and Amber Gnatzig
and Kmezich all played club ball together for Real Colorado National.
"I'm proud of our players and
the effort that they put in because I thought it was a great match," Guerrieri said after the Florida match. "They put us under a ton of pressure and our defense held really well."
started 12-1-2 before losing back-to-back games to Kansas and Missouri in Big 12 play. The Aggies lost to Kansas a second time when they fell, 4-2, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
A&M's only loss in its first 15 games came when it lost to North Carolina, 3-2, on Aug. 29. The Aggies came back from two goals down to tie the score thanks to a pair of goals from
Gnatzig. TEXAS A&M STARTERS: G Kelly Dyer
, SOPH. Germantown, Tenn. D Amber Gnatzig
, FR. Humble, Texas D Brianne Young
, FR. Castle Pines North, Colo. D Emily
, JR. Tulsa, Okla. D Micah Stephens
, SR. Flower Mound, Texas M Laura G. Robinson
Houston, Texas M Rachel Shipley
, SOPH. Plano, Texas M Beth West
, FR. Centennial, Colo. M Rebecca Herrera
, FR. Aurora, Colo. F Whitney Hooper
, SOPH. Houston, Texas F
, FR. Dallas, Texas