NT Soccer Earns 2-1 Win Over UTEP, C-USA Tourney No. 2 Seed
Hodges, Holden Score In Mean Green No. 2 Seed Clinching Win Over UTEP
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The season's quickest goal, followed by the wildest goal of the year earned the North Texas soccer team a 2-1 win over UTEP and the coveted No. 2 seed in next week's Conference USA Tournament.
North Texas (12-6-1, 6-3-1 C-USA) will find out its opponent in next week's league showdown in Houston after tonight's round of games. NT will be the No. 2 seed in the West Division, and will face the No. 3 squad in the East.
A lot was riding on this game, we simply had to win it,” said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. “To finish the regular season with the second best record in a sixteen team league is quite an accomplishment. Now we need to take this momentum into the conference tournament and focus on winning a championship.”
Playing in the final home game of her career, Kelsey Hodges opened the afternoon with the fastest goal of the year - a redirect from the six-yard box that found the upper left corner of the net just 2:18 into the contest.
For the remainder of the half, UTEP (12-5-3, 5-3-2 C-USA) peppered the North Texas goal with 11 shots thanks to a strong wind at their backs, but Haley Riley and the NT defense stayed strong.
The Mean Green turned the tables on the Miners in the second half, and used the blustery conditions to their advantage. In the 57th minute, NT sent a ball into the corner for Rachel Holden, who won the foot race to the UTEP end line. The freshman lofted a cross that caught the wind and flew into the far side of the goal.
The zero-angle goal was Holden's 12th of the year, which ranks second in C-USA.
The Miners would score a goal in the 83rd minute, but North Texas was able to hold off the UTEP rally.
Next up for North Texas
• North Texas earns the No. 2 seed in next week's C-USA Tournament, and will play on Wednesday. Their opponent will be determined after Thursday night's round of C-USA games.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• Hodges' goal was her 8th of the year, and the 31st of her career. Hodges is now alone in 8th place in school history with the 31 career goals.
• North Texas closes the 2013 regular season with a 7-1-1 mark at home. NT still hasn't lost a home conference game since Halloween of 2008, giving it a 22-0-2 mark since that loss.
• Rachel Holden netted the game winner in the 57th minute on the year's wildest goal. The freshman was on the endline 15 yards to the left of the goal, and played the ball across. The strong wind grabbed the ball and sent it into the back of the net for her 12 of the year.
• North Texas was out-shot 15-7, including a 7-2 shots on goal differential.