DENTON, Texas (8/28/09) - Heading into the season opener against Sam Houston State, one of the biggest question marks surrounding the North Texas soccer team was how the five starting freshmen would handle the NCAA atmosphere. Turns out for Plano West graduate Carly McDowell it was just another day at the office.
McDowell scored the game's lone goal in the 20th minute off a beautiful assist from senior Kendall Juett, proving to be the game-winner in a 1-0 season-opening win over the Bearkats Friday evening at the North Texas Soccer Field.
The game-winning goal play developed when freshman forward Michelle Young crossed the ball towards the post and found Juett, who made a no-look skip pass to McDowell and she was able to take care of the rest, beating Sam Houston State goalkeeper Jenny Pence.
"Scoring that goal was pretty exciting," McDowell said. "I was just glad I was able to help our team get off to a good start this season. My teammates did a real nice job setting up the play and gave me a good opportunity."
North Texas was far and away the aggressor on an evening when they improved to 15-0 in home season openers. The Mean Green outshot the Bearkats 17-7 and 10-5 shots on goal. Juett led the way with seven shots, four of which were on goal. North Texas also led in corner kicks 8-1.
"They (SHSU) came out in a 4-5-1 defense so that kind of threw us off our game offensively," North Texas head coach John Hedlund said. "We were able to get some shots but they disrupted our passing game and our ability to get good looks. The most important thing though is that we got the win and we're 1-0. We have areas we need to improve on but give them some credit tonight, they didn't make it easy on us."
Junior goalkeeper Mandy Hall recorded her ninth career shutout with five saves, which moved her into a three-way tie with Amy Smyser and Adria Costanzo for third place in school history with the nine shutouts.
The Mean Green will be back in action on Sunday when they host the New Mexico State Aggies (0-2). That game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.