Soccer Hosts Sun Belt Openers vs. WKU, MT

Game Notes In PDF Format

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 - 7 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-3-0, 0-0-0 SBC) at
North Texas Mean Green (5-3-1, 0-0-0 SBC)
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: North Texas leads 8-6-1
Last Meeting: L, 0-3 (11/3/2010) at WKU (SBC Tourney)

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 - 1 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
Middle Tennessee Blue Radiers (3-5-0, 0-0-0 SBC) at
North Texas Mean Green
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: North Texas leads 8-5-2
Last Meeting: L, 1-2 (2ot) (9/26/2010) at MT

Mean Green Begin Conference Season With Huge Matches Against WKU, Middle Tennessee
North Texas begins its 12th season in the Sun Belt Conference with games against Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee at the Mean Green Soccer Complex this weekend. The Mean Green are looking for revenge on Western Kentucky, who knocked the Mean Green out of the Sun Belt Tournament last season in Bowling Green, but the Hilltoppers come to play in Denton for the first time since 2008. The Mean Green look to make a statement against Middle Tennessee, the 2010 Sun Belt Tournament Champion. North Texas is 10-1-0 in Sun Belt openers and 10-1-0 in Sun Belt home openers.

North Texas' Offense Clicking
North Texas has had a strong offensive attack so far this season, ranking first in the Sun Belt Conference with 26 goals, and 15th in Division 1 with 2.89 goals per game.

All We Do Is Win, No Matter What
North Texas has never had a losing season in their 16 years as a program. Only North Carolina (29 seasons), William & Mary (29), Portland (25), Notre Dame (23), Stanford (23) and Penn State (17) have active streaks of more consecutive winning seasons entering this year.

Preseason Picks
Sophomore defender Kelsey Hodges and junior midfielder Ellen Scarfone were named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team by the league's 12 coaches. Hodges led North Texas with nine goals in 2010, including a hat trick in her first career game. Scarfone was a 2010 All-Sun Belt pick and returns after a seven goal, nine assist season in 2010.

Hodges' Offensive Contribution
Sophomore center back Kelsey Hodges, along with anchoring the Mean Green defensively, has been a consistent contributor to the North Texas offense. Hodges has scored four goals and assisted three times this season, and has scored or assisted at least once every week since Aug. 26

Tall Tale
Freshman goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine is the tallest player in the Sun Belt Conference at 6-1. Kerestine is taller than every player on North Texas' women's basketball team, which makes her the third-tallest female athlete currently at North Texas, behind volleyball players Courtney Windham and Hallie McDonald.

Home Is Where The Wins Are
Since the 2000 season, the Mean Green has been nearly perfect in defending its home turf. North Texas is riding an nine game Sun Belt winning streak at the Mean Green Soccer Complex, and is 13-1 in their last 13 home conference games. North Texas is currently unbeaten in its last nine and is 14-1-2 in their last 17 games at home. During the past 10 plus seasons the Mean Green has made its way into the NCAA record books at home. The Mean Green went unbeaten for 24 straight games from Oct. 3, 1999 until Oct. 11, 2002. That streak is the 12th longest in NCAA history. Two years later a new one started on Oct. 3, 2004 and didn't end until Oct. 22, 2007. It covered 23 straight games and is the 13th longest home unbeaten streak in NCAA history. North Texas is one of just three schools (also: North Carolina, 5 times, and Notre Dame, 4 times) in the nation to have two unbeaten streaks at home of 23 games or more in NCAA history.

All Of The Lights
North Texas is 3-0-0 in night games this season, beating Texas Southern, SMU and Sam Houston.

North Texas vs. Western Kentucky
North Texas has an 8-6-1 all-time record against Western Kentucky, and were knocked out of the Sun Belt Tournament by the Hilltoppers a year ago. However, the Mean Green have won their last three home Sun Belt regular season games against WKU, dating back to 2004. The last time these two teams met in Denton for a regular season Sun Belt game, North Texas saw a 2-0 lead slip to a 3-2 deficit, before pulling back even in the 85th minute and having Kelli Lunsford send home a PK with one second left for a 4-3 Mean Green victory.

North Texas vs. Middle Tennessee
North Texas leads the all-time series against Middle Tennessee, leading 8-5-2. North Texas has only one loss to the Blue Raiders in its last four meetings, dropping the contest last year in Murfreesboro. Two of North Texas' four scoreless draws, including its most recent goaless game, have come against Middle Tennessee.

North Texas and the Sun Belt
North Texas is 10-1-0 in Sun Belt openers and 10-1-0 in Sun Belt home openers. The Mean Green have not lost in their last nine home Sun Belt games. Overall, the Mean Green are 93-31-11 in Sun Belt games.

Goalkeeper Heritage
Jackie Kerestine has taken over the goalkeeper position, replacing Mandy Hall, who finished her North Texas career as the career leader in shutouts and saves. However, this is not the the first time Kerestine has helped replace Hall--both attended Colleyville Heritage High School, where Hall was keeper from 2005-07, and Kerestine from 2009-11. Both were named first team selections on the Fort Worth Star Telegram Super Team as high school seniors, with Kerestine being named Player of the Year. Kerestine led Colleyville Heritage to 19 straight shutouts as a senior, which spanned from January to overtime of the state title game.

Moment For Life
Senior Nikki Crocco was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Sept. 6 for her outstanding performance against SMU. Crocco scored both of North Texas' goals against the 8th-ranked team in the Central Region, SMU, as the Mean Green beat their rivals 2-1, for their first win over SMU since 2005. Crocco headed in a free kick in the 53rd minute to give North Texas its first lead, then stole the ball from the SMU keeper with 3:07 remaining and coolly put it away to break the 1-1 tie and give North Texas the victory. It was the first game winner in the last ten minutes of regulation for NT since 2009. This came one game after scoring her first career hat trick on Aug. 28. Crocco had only scored three goals in her career at North Texas before the two-game surge, and only three more at Arkansas before transferring. The Southlake native is having a career year, already setting a career-high with five goals and is one off her career best with two assists, both coming against Texas Southern.

Forever Young
Michelle Young had a four goal, three assist weekend against Texas Southern and Grambling. She scored her first career hat trick at Texas Southern on Aug. 26, becoming the first North Texas player to have one since Aug. 27, 2010, and was the first of two straight hat tricks for the Mean Green. On Aug. 28, her three assists against Grambling made her the first NT player since Kendall Juett on Oct. 13, 2006 to have three or more assists in a game.

Ramblin' About Grambling
North Texas had its biggest win in 11 years with an 11-0 victory over Grambling on Aug. 28. The 11 goals scored by North Texas are the most the Mean Green have scored in a single game since Oct. 8, 2000, when it beat Arkansas State 11-0, and tied for the third-most in program history. The game shatters the record for goals scored at the Mean Green Soccer Complex, which was 8, set most recently in 2010. Nikki Crocco scored a hat trick for the Mean Green, which with Michelle Young's hat trick on Aug. 26, marks the first time that North Texas has had hat tricks in back-to-back games since 2005, when Heather Hutyra scored hat tricks against SMU then Grambling.

Rank and File
North Texas entered the NSCAA Regional Polls for the first time this season on Sept. 5 with the 10th spot in the South Region. North Texas took down then-8th ranked team in the Central Region, SMU on Sept. 2, with a 2-1 win. Baylor, who was ranked 9th in the Central Region, knocked North Texas out of the regional rankings after Baylor won 2-0 at Baylor on Sept. 11.

2011 NT vs. Regionally Ranked Teams
Date Opponent Result
9/2/11 #8-C SMU W, 2-1
9/11/11 #9-C Baylor L, 0-2



North Texas Mean Green