Looking Back At The 2001 Regular-Season Conference Championship
Mean Green Soccer Has Won Nine Titles In Program History
With the majority of its team coming back after a record-breaking season in 2014, the North Texas soccer program is poised to make a run for its 10th conference championship in school history.
Every Thursday during the summer, MeanGreenSports.com is going look back at all nine conference championships. North Texas head coach John Hedlund won his first conference championship back in 2001.
After just six years as a program, the Mean Green soccer team broke through with its first regular-season title in 2001. The conference championship was the first of many for North Texas soccer.
North Texas played in the Big West for five years and despite winning records was more than happy to enter the Sun Belt Conference in 2000. The travel to the West Coast was tiring and the Big West did not have a conference tournament so teams had only one opportunity during the regular season to win a conference title.
The Mean Green was also a big fish in a small pond in the Sun Belt. North Texas would advance to the conference championship game for eight straight years. In 2000, North Texas lost to FIU in the finals.
North Texas opened the 2000 conference regular season with a 2-1 win against Denver. The Mean Green swept through the rest of the Sun Belt teams, needing overtime to defeat Middle Tennessee, 4-3. North Texas secured the regular-season title with a 1-0 victory against South Alabama at the rec field it called home.
The Mean Green was only able to collect one trophy that year. North Texas lost to Denver, 2-1, in the conference championships in Miami, Fla. The match-up would be the first of many for the two teams.
North Texas had plenty of offensive firepower in the early 2000's. The Mean Green was held scoreless just once in 2001. Marilyn Marin had another season for the record books, scoring 15 goals. She was named all-region and was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection. She was joined up top by redshirt freshman Melinda Pina, who chipped in 10 goals that season. Both would go on to be North Texas Athletics Hall of Famers.
The 2001 North Texas team was well-rounded. Joining Marin and Pina on the all-conference teams were midfielder Carrie Kveton, defender Gina Turner and midfielder Michelle Uselton. Marin, Pina and Angela Carter were named to the 2001 Sun Belt all-tournament team.