DENTON, Texas (10/03/08) The Mean Green soccer team took advantage of two second half goals from Brittany Cleveland and Kendall Juett to help rally from an early 1-0 deficit and knock off the Florida Atlantic Owls 3-2 Friday evening at the North Texas Soccer Field.
Those two goals seemed to be a relief to a North Texas team that had struggled to score of late. Juett, who Hedlund had mentioned earlier in the week might have been pressing a bit, scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute, her first in four contests and her fourth of the season.
“It was important for our offense to come out in the second half and score the two goals for a 3-1 lead,” North Texas head coach John Hedlund said. “To me that was the difference in the game.”
The victory comes on the heels of a disappointing 3-2 loss at Louisiana-Monroe last Sunday when North Texas was pushed around a bit by the Warhawks physical play. North Texas improved to 6-1 at home and now stands at 2-1 in conference play and 8-2 overall.
Friday marked the second time this season that North Texas fell behind first. Florida Atlantic’s Laura Hyvonen did the honors this time, taking an assist from Natalie D’Oria in the 6th minute and beating Mandy Hall to her right for her first goal of the season.
Before anyone in the stadium could even take a breath, the Mean Green’s Kelsey Perlman took the ball just seconds later and went coast-to-coast, nailing a shot from 15 yards away to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was Perlman’s team-leading sixth of the season and also leads the team with 15 points.
After both teams finished went into the locker room tied at 1-1, North Texas came out with a different demeanor and went on the attack. In the 60th minute, Perlman delivered a pass to Brittany Cleveland near the front of the net that sneaked by FAU’s Jessica Badders, giving the Mean Green a 2-1 lead.
The goal at the moment had tied Juett for 10th-place all-time in North Texas history with 24 goals. That was until Juett decided to one up her and score her 25th career goal on a beautiful cross-field pass from Cleveland in the 65th minute.
North Texas allowed a late goal in the 85th minute to Brittany Comer to cut the margin to 3-2 but the Owls never could cash in on a game-tying goal. Florida Atlantic (1-7-1, 0-2-1) had struggled mightily scoring goals this season, coming into Friday with only three.
“They played tough and worked us hard,” Hedlund said of the Owls’ play. “The only drawback was that late goal which made it interesting there late but the bottom line tonight was we got a much-needed win.”
The Mean Green now looks to make it two victories in a row this Sunday at 1 p.m. when they host Florida International.