Soccer Looks To Stay Undefeated In SBC Play
North Texas is 4-0-0 in the Sun Belt for the first time since 2007, and looks to keep up its hot start in league play against Troy and a resurgent South Alabama program, who posted a 7-1-1 non-conference record. North Texas has not given up a goal in
Game Notes In PDF Format
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 - 7 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
Troy Trojans (7-5-1, 2-2-0 Sun Belt) at
North Texas Mean Green (9-3-1, 4-0-0 Sun Belt)
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: North Texas leads 7-0-0
Last Meeting: W, 3-1 (10/8/2010) at Troy
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 - 1 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
South Alabama Jaguars (9-2-2, 2-1-1 Sun Belt) at
North Texas Mean Green
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: North Texas leads 14-1-1
Last Meeting: W, 2-0 (10/10/2010) at USA
North Texas Looks To Stay Undefeated In SBC Play
North Texas is 4-0-0 in the Sun Belt for the first time since 2007, and looks to keep up its hot start in league play against Troy and a resurgent South Alabama program, who posted a 7-1-1 non-conference record. North Texas has not given up a goal in 303 minutes of game time, all with Jackie Kerestine in net. With at least a win and a tie this weekend, North Texas would clinch its 17th straight winning season.
North Texas' Offense Ranks Ninth Nationally
North Texas has had a strong offensive attack so far this season, ranking first in the Sun Belt Conference with 36 goals, and 9th in Division 1 with 2.77 goals per game.
Jackie Says No!
Freshman goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine currently has a streak of 303:02 without conceding a goal, dating back to Sept. 23, and has three consecutive shutouts in that span. Kerestine was named SoccerSavings.com/Dallas Soccer News Player of the Week on Oct. 3. She leads the Sun Belt Conference in Goals Against Average, Save Percentage and Shutout in league games, while she ranks second in the league in Goals Against Average (89th nationally) and Shutouts in all games. She did what the USA Today named as one of the "Hardest 10 Things To Do In Sports," by saving a penalty kick against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 25, on the first spot kick she faced in her career.
Junior Michelle Young was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Sept. 27 for her three goals against Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. She is second in the Sun Belt Conference and ranks 26th in the nation with nine goals this season. She 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.
All Of The Lights
North Texas is 4-0-0 in night games this season, beating Texas Southern, SMU, Sam Houston and Western Kentucky.
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.
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.
Home Is Where The Wins Are
North Texas is currently unbeaten in its last 11, including a 5-0-1 mark this season, and is 16-1-2 in their last 19 games at home. North Texas is riding an 11 game Sun Belt winning streak at the Mean Green Soccer Complex, and is 15-1 in their last 16 home conference games. 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. The Mean Green went unbeaten for 24 straight home games from Oct. 3, 1999 until Oct. 11, 2002, the 12th longest streak, NCAA history, then had a streak from Oct. 3, 2004 and didn't end until Oct. 22, 2007 that covered 23 straight games and is the 13th longest home unbeaten streak in NCAA history.
North Texas vs. Troy
North Texas is 7-0-0 against Troy, including a 22-0 North Texas win in 1997, which is still the Mean Green's biggest win in school history. North Texas has outscored Troy 38-3 in the series, an average of 5.4 to 0.4 goals per game.
North Texas vs. South Alabama
North Texas has controlled thier matchup with South Alabama, with a 14-1-1 record, only losing the regular season matchup in 2000 by a score of 1-0. North Texas has then gone unbeaten in the next 15 games against the Jaguars, including a victory in the 2005 Sun Belt Title game to send the Mean Green to the NCAA Tournament.
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 is having a career year for the Mean Green with career-highs of seven goals, which ranks in a tie for fifth in the Sun Belt and 57th in the nation, and four assists, which is tied for fifth in the Sun Belt and 125th in the nation, this season. She 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, as the Mean Green beat their rivals 2-1, their first cross-town victory since 2005. Crocco stole the ball from the SMU keeper with 3:07 remaining and coolly put it away for the game winner, the first game winner in the last ten minutes of regulation for NT since 2009. Crocco also stole the ball from the keeper against Middle Tennessee, and gave North Texas a lead with 28 minutes left for the game-winner on Sept. 25. Crocco had only scored three goals in her career at North Texas before a two-game surge, which saw her score her first career hat trick on Aug. 28 then two more against SMU, and only three more at Arkansas before transferring.
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.
Scarfone's Assist Rate
Junior midfielder Ellen Scarfone has played in every game so far this season, and has only seen limited, but remarkably effective, minutes in those games. She has picked up five assists and three goals in 13 appearances, which ranks 110th in the nation in assists per game, despite limited minutes early on. She is averaging 0.75 assists per 90 minutes. Just for comparison's sake, 0.75 assists per game would rank 6th in Division 1.
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.
Highlighted results from NTs' non-league opponents:
SMU was edged by Central No. 5 Rice 1-0 before defeating Houston, another NT opponent, 1-0... Central No. 6 Baylor fought Central No. 8 Texas Tech to a scoreless draw... West No. 6 Cal State Fullerton lost 2-1 to Cal Poly in double-overtime before defeating UC Santa Barbara 2-1 in OT
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.