DENTON, Texas (8/29/08) Kendall Juett refused to let the Mean Green drop the season opener Friday evening at North Texas Soccer Field against Louisiana Tech. After struggling in the first half offensively and collecting only eight shots, the team turned to the 2008 Preseason Player of the Year for a spark.
Juett delivered when in the 55th minute of the contest, she received an open field pass from Daniel Herron and beat Louisiana Tech goalie Jean Bernard in front of the box with a left footed chip shot in the back corner of the goal.
Despite the victory, head coach John Hedlund felt like his team has a lot of work to do if they want to accomplish the goals they set out before the season. “Tonight we played like it was our first game,” he said.
Just looking at the offensive numbers one might have thought that the Mean Green would have blown out the Lady Techsters. North Texas outshot Louisiana Tech 15-4, yet the contest went down to the final seconds in which goalkeeper Mandy Hall had to intercept a pass in front of the box to seal the victory.
North Texas (1-0) grabbed the first lead of the season when Kelsey Perlman took a cross field pass and took advantage of a scramble in front of the net for an easy open goal. The freshman from Allen High School said the intensity definitely picked up at halftime after a disappointing start to the first half.
“Coach was really on us at halftime,” she said. “He told us being banged up and injuries weren’t an excuse. I think it definitely got us going because we were lackluster out there.”
Louisiana Tech scored their lone goal in the 22nd minute on Kiva Gresham’s shot in front of the net. Olivia Lukasewich got credit for her first assist of the season on the play on a nice cross at the top of the box.
North Texas will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they take on Xavier (0-1) at the North Texas Soccer Field. Xavier is coming off a 3-0 loss at TCU Friday evening.