Seventh-ranked Texas A&M knocked No. 17 USC out of the SEC tournament with a 1-0 semifinal victory on Friday.
In the 86th minute, Texas A&M’s Shea Groom fired from close range and USC keeper Sabrina D’Angelo knocked it aside for a corner kick. Kelley Monogue served to the far post and Bianca Brinson tapped in the game-winner.
Texas A&M (17-2-2) plays the winner of Friday’s late game, Tennessee-Kentucky, in the final at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Gamecocks (13-5-3) will learn their NCAA tournament fate during the announcement of pairings at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
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South Carolina had an opportunity to break the defensive struggle in the 34th minute, when Andie Romness lined up a free kick at the edge of the USC attacking third. Her service connected with senior center back Taylor Leach, but Leach’s shot went high.
The Gamecocks allowed two Texas A&M shots on goal and outshot the Aggies 10-8.
“I’m proud of the girls, but, obviously, I’m disappointed with the result,” said USC coach Shelley Smith.
“We wanted to make the finals and put ourselves in position to win a championship. I’m proud of the heart and fight we saw from this team. We played a tremendous team in A&M; they showed how strong they are.”
USC has five losses and one draw in six all-time meetings with Texas A&M.