Mean Green Soccer Falls To Texas Tech, 1-0
North Texas Comes Up Short In NCAA Tournament Game
LUBBOCK -- The North Texas soccer team came up just short in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Texas Tech, 1-0, on Friday night.
The Mean Green's record-breaking season came to a close with a final record of 19-4-1. North Texas won the Conference USA regular-season title and the conference tournament championship and advanced to its fourth NCAA Tournament.
"It was a battle between two good teams, unfortunately one team has to lose and the other one moves on, but it has been an incredible year for us," said North Texas head coach John Hedlund.
North Texas suffered a setback before the game even started. The Mean Green's starting goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine injured herself during warmups and had to be pulled from the starting lineup. Freshman Brooke Bradley, with seven minutes under her belt, made her first career start in an NCAA Tournament game.
The freshman goalkeeper stepped up in the big moment. She made 10 saves in the game and held off a flurry of Texas Tech shots at the start of the second half.
The Mean Green offense had a number of dangerous opportunities in the first half, posting five shots on goal in the first 45 minutes.
Texas Tech's Janine Beckie got behind the Mean Green defense on NT's one miscue. She received a chipped pass in the air and slotted it in the upper corner from inside the six-yard box to put Texas Tech ahead in the 26th minute.
Karla Pineda had the best opportunity for the Mean Green in the 39th minute off a free kick. Her shot from 25 yards out forced the Texas Tech keeper to knock the ball over the crossbar.
Texas Tech came out firing in the second half, posting 13 shots in the opening 15 minutes, after recording seven total in the first period.
The Mean Green had fewer opportunities in the second half with Texas Tech controlling most of the possession. Pineda had another dangerous shot in the 61st minute with a long, hard blast that went just wide of the net.
I've had a lot of outstanding teams, it is hard to single a team out, but this team broke so many records," said Hedlund. "We had 19 wins, our RPI is at 36 which is the highest for us, we received votes for national rankings all year, and ranked around 31 nationally, ranked 3rd in the region, we got the regular season championship in conference USA, we got the tournament championship. We thought this could be the team that could make a run in the NCAA's, but we ran into an outstanding Texas Tech team, and we wish them the best of luck."
Next up for North Texas
North Texas finishes its season with a 19-4-1 record, setting a school record for wins in a season.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
North Texas is now 0-4 in NCAA Tournament games and 4-5-1 in the series against Texas Tech. NT is 0-2 against Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament.
North Texas trailed at halftime for only the second time this season.
Brooke Bradley made her first career start in goal for North Texas. She made 10 saves in goal, career highs.
North Texas played in front of a crowd of 1,817 fans, the third-largest crowd in Texas Tech history. It is the second-largest crowd that North Texas has played in front of this season.