UAB Downs NT Soccer 2-1, Sets Up UTEP Showdown Thursday
NT Playing For C-USA Tourney Bye Thursday After UAB Loss Sunday
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB was able to keep the North Texas soccer team off balance and secure a 2-1 win over the Mean Green, which sets up a wild final day of Conference USA action on Thursday.
NT’s Karla Pineda tied things up at 1-1 in the 67th minute, but UAB’s Johanna Liney had the go-ahead goal just five minutes later for a scrappy Blazers (11-5-2, 4-3-2 C-USA) squad. The loss ends North Texas’ four-game win streak.
With UTSA (14 points) and Rice (13 points, tiebreaker over NT) within striking distance of NT’s 16 points, Thursday’s regular-season finale at home against UTEP (17 points) will have implications on next month’s C-USA Tournament in Houston.
The top three teams in each division receive a bye into the quarterfinals, and a win over the Miners on Thursday would give North Texas (11-6-1, 5-3-1 C-USA) the coveted No. 2 seed. A tie or a loss would leave the Mean Green vulnerable for the Roadrunners or Owls to overtake NT for the third and final bye.
NT had trouble keeping possession of the ball on the transition to the offensive side of the field, and head coach John Hedlund tried a number of combinations to get things jumpstarted. Every active field player saw at least 16 minutes of action, and the bench managed just as many shots, four, as the starters.
Next up for North Texas
• The Mean Green closes the regular season at home on a spooky Halloween afternoon showdown with UTEP. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m., and could decide which teams receive a bye in next month's C-USA Tournament.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• This was the first meeting between North Texas and UAB.• North Texas had won four straight games before falling at UAB on Sunday. NT outscored those four opponents 14-4.
• The loss moves NT into third place in the C-USA West Division with 16 points. The Mean Green trails Colorado College (22 points) and UTEP (17 points). The Miners knocked off Colorado College on Sunday, which is the Tigers' first C-USA loss in 2013.