Mean Green Soccer Opens Season With Victory
North Texas Defeats Incarnate Word, 3-0
SAN ANTONIO -- With just three seniors on the North Texas soccer team, the Mean Green needed strong leadership from this group headed into the season. Senior Tori Phillips provided that boost of experience with three points to lead North Texas to a 3-0 season-opening win against Incarnate Word on Friday night.
"It was a good road win for us," said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. "We needed a complete effort from the defense and offense tonight especially against a much-improved Incarnate Word team. Now we will start to focus our attention on a solid Arkansas team for Sunday."
Phillips converted a penalty kick in the 40th minute and posted the assist on the second goal of the game at the start of the second period. The newcomers also made an immediate impact for the Mean Green. Freshman substitute Ariel Diaz was taken down in the box to set up Phillips' penalty kick, and junior transfer Natalie McDonough put the ball in the back of the net off a scramble in the box on Phillips' set piece. Diaz sealed the win with a header off a breakaway.
The Mean Green dominated possession and held the advantage in all the statistical categories but it took 40 minutes before the visitors were able to break through. Diaz forced a turnover on the right side of the field and raced into the 18-yard box where she was taken down by a UIW defender. Phillips converted the first penalty kick of her career.
Phillips and senior Katie Gernsbacher led the Mean Green offense with three shots each. Phillips' booming kick provided numerous dangerous opportunities for North Texas in the attacking third. In the 47th minute, it was off one of those set pieces that McDonough was able to get on the end of inside the six-yard box.
After shooting the ball high in the 84th minute, Diaz came back two minutes later with a header that found the back of the net to top off the win.
Phillips and the defense held the backline to preserve the shutout. Goalkeeper Miranda Schoening needed to just make one save to record her first shutout of the season.
Coming Up Next
The Mean Green return home to face No. 17 Arkansas on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
The Mean Green are now 16-5-1 in season-opening games.
North Texas is now 3-0 in the series against Incarnate Word and has outscored UIW, 9-0.
Tori Phillips scored in each of the last two games against Incarnate Word. She led the team with three points tonight.
Ten Mean Green players came off the bench in the opening game.
Miranda Schoening recorded her fourth shutout of her career.