Early Tiger Goals Too Much For NT Soccer In C-USA Title Game
Mean Green Denied Back-To-Back NCAA Tourney Bids By Early Strikes
HOUSTON – For the Mean Green, the Conference USA soccer championship game between North Texas and Colorado College went too much like the regular season meeting. Three quick goals from the Tigers were too much to overcome as NT fell just short of the tournament title in its first year in the league.
A CBS Sports national audience saw the C-USA regular season champs, Colorado College (15-4-2), hit the gas pedal early and hold off charge from the No. 2 seed Mean Green (14-7-1) for a 3-0 win at the Rice Soccer Stadium in Houston.
"The big difference was Colorado College looked fresh and well rested coming out of their last match, where I think our double-overtime win really took its toll on us today," said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. "We've had a great season, and hopefully we have not played our last match and the NCAA Tournament takes two teams from C-USA."
In the regular season matchup, Colorado College posted three goals in the opening 28 minutes, and on Sunday they found the net three times by the 22nd minute. The last of those three goals was by the C-USA Midfielder of the Year, Kaeli Vandersluis.
The Mean Green will have a chance at an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Tournament thanks to nice regular season wins TCU and Oklahoma, as well as close contests against Virginia Tech, Wake Forest (OT), Oklahoma State (OT). The Hokies and Cowgirls both lost in their respective conference tournament finals as well.
North Texas posted 14 wins in 2013 thanks to a potent senior class and stellar offense. Kelsey Hodges was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, while Rachel Holden earned the league’s Offensive and Freshman of the Year awards.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• This was the 10th conference tournament finals for North Texas – all coming since 2000. The Mean Green advanced to eight consecutive Sun Belt finals appearances from 2000-2007, and returned again in 2012.
• In its last seven conference tournament games North Texas had allowed just a single goal.
• In the regular season meeting, Colorado College scored in the 12th, 22nd and 28th minutes to put the Mean Green in a quick 3-0 hole. Vanessa Ibewuike struck in the 29th minute and Leah Cox found the net in the 77th minute, but it was too little to late.
• A program accustomed to winning, North Texas reached the 14-win plateau for the 12th time in school history.
2013 CONFERENCE USA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jessie Ayers, Colorado College (Most Valuable Offensive Player)
Kate Scheele, Colorado College (Most Valuable Defensive Player)
Kecia Morway, Colorado College
Kaeli Vandersluis, Colorado College
Kelsey Hodges, North Texas
Jackie Moreau, North Texas
Karla Pineda, North Texas
Amanda Jones, Charlotte
Monica Trickett, Charlotte
Kendall Frey, East Carolina
Caitlin Hite, East Carolina