Going Back-To-Back In 2005
The 2005 Team Repeated As Regular-Season Conference Champions
June 25, 2015
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. This week, we look at the first of two conference championships both won in 2005.
One of the toughest things to accomplish in sports is to win back-to-back championships. It's tough to repeat, but that is just what Mean Green soccer did in 2004 and 2005. North Texas won back-to-back regular-season titles and conference tournament titles. Four conference championships in two years.
"Those two teams were probably two of my hardest-working teams that had tremendous chemistry," said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. "That is what I remember about them. It's hard to go back-to-back."
The 2005 regular season started off inconspicuously. The Mean Green dropped its first two games of the season for just the second time in school history. North Texas was just getting warmed up; the team would not lose again for two months.
One of the biggest wins of the season came in a 3-1 victory against SMU. The win by the Mean Green was the first over the Mustangs since the 2000 season and the first victory on the road against SMU since 1998.
"I remember beating SMU at their place," said Hedlund about the 2005 season. "Heather had a hat trick. She took this unbelievable direct kick that went upper 90."
Hutyra was just getting started. Three days later, she posted another hat trick in a 6-0 win against Grambling. The sophomore would be ranked nationally throughout the season in goals, goals per game and points per game.
The entire team was getting notice on the national level. The Mean Green was ranked national (40th by topdrawersoccer.com) for the first time in school history on October 12.
The Mean Green posted an 8-1 record in Sun Belt Conference play, but it wasn't a breeze. Four of the victories were by just a margin of one goal. Dani Slavonic scored the gamewinner in overtime against South Alabama (1-0), Julie Radford scored her first goal of the season against Louisiana-Lafayette (1-0) and Hutyra recorded her 12th goal of the season in the 1-0 win against FIU.
In another big game against Denver, freshman Brittany Cleveland scored the game's only goal in the 80th minute. The win was the seventh straight for the Mean Green and extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games, the third longest in the nation. After putting Denver in the rear-view mirror, North Texas captured its second-straight regular-season title with a 4-1 victory against Western Kentucky. Freshman Kelli Lunsford scored two goals in the win.
The only blemish on the Mean Green's conference schedule was a 3-0 loss to Middle Tennessee. With the loss, the team had its 15-game unbeaten streak come to an end. North Texas was still headed into the conference tournament with the No. 1 seed and an opportunity to win back-to-back conference tournament titles.
Nine Conference Championships
2001 Regular-Season Title
2004 Regular-Season Title
2004 Conference Tournament Title