Shipley, a junior midfielder from Plano, Texas, has a team-leading 21 points this year. The goal, her seventh of the season, came on a penalty kick for a 1-0 lead after 43 minutes of scoreless soccer.
“She’s money. She’s absolute money,” Texas A&M coach G. Guererri said. “She controls so much of the game. For her to hit those free kicks makes her twice as valuable.”
The Aggies (13-5-2, 7-2-2) will play sixth-seeded Texas, which needed double-overtime to defeat third-seed Colorado 1-0 on Wednesday. The A&M-Texas semifinal is 8 p.m. Friday.
The Aggies defeated Texas 4-0 on Friday in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The last time the teams met in the conference tournament came two years ago when the Longhorns defeated A&M 2-1 in the championship game.
“I honestly didn’t know we were going to play Texas next if we won,” Shipley said. “I don’t think anyone was paying attention to that because every game is huge. The first game is most important.”
The seventh-seeded Bears (8-6-5, 3-5-3) were making their first appearance in the tournament since 2006.
But when Bri Young scored on a header to give the Aggies the two-goal edge with 31:55 left in the game, it was too much for Baylor. It came on a second-consecutive corner kick from Shipley.
A&M finished with a 12-2 advantage in corner kicks.
While the Aggies produced 16 shots, the Bears managed five -- just three that needed a save from A&M goalkeepers Kristin Arnold and Kelly Dyer, who split time in front of the nets and recorded the shutout.
“That’s why they’re (ranked) 20th in the country,” Bears coach Marci Jobson said. “We knew we were going to have to play at the top of our game.”
Shipley’s penalty kick was set up when Bears defender Staz Salinas was called for a foul with 1:48 to go before halftime after making contact with Kim Castleberry, who was moving along with the ball inside the penalty area.
Shipley lined up for the free kick and kept it low and not far from the middle of the goal, where Baylor goalkeeper Gianna Quintanna got a hand on it but could not stop it after making her defensive move to the outside.
“I saw her leaning one way,” Shipley said. “I was going to go right, and I saw that, and I changed right in the middle. It wasn’t supposed to go right there.”