DENTON (10/10/03) With 24 second left in the second and final overtime period, North Texas freshman Kristen Campbell won a scramble for a loose ball in front of the net and scored the game winner to lift the Mean Green to a 3-2 upset over nationally-ranked Denver in a Sun Belt Conference women’s soccer game Friday night.
After North Texas (10-3, 3-0) opened up a 2-0 lead early in the second half, the No. 19-ranked Pioneers (9-2, 2-1) battled back with two second-half goals to send the game into its overtime finish. The first 10-minute overtime period went scoreless and it looked like the second and last OT period would do the same before Campbell’s second goal of her career knocked off the defending conference champions in the game’s final seconds.
With time running out, NT’s Marilyn Marin dribbled into the left corner before centering the ball towards the Denver net. Campbell somehow got control of the loose ball just a couple of yards from the goal line and was able to kick past Pioneers backup goalie Cassandra Kaeding.
The win leaves North Texas alone in first place in the Sun Belt standings.
“This is huge for us,” said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. “It’s been awhile since we’ve beaten them. We needed this win against a very strong Denver team. I’m just so excited about the way we’re playing. The girls gave everything they had tonight.”
Marin had assists on all three goals for the Mean Green, who came up with 18 shots while goalkeeper Briana Buchanan made five saves. For Campbell, it was just the second goal of her collegiate career and the first game-winner of her Mean Green career.
Richelle Magahlaes scored the game’s opening goal from about 18 yards in the middle off a pass from Marin to give the Mean Green a 1-0 lead just 15 minutes into the game. North Texas then went up 2-0 at the 55:20 mark in the second half when Marin lofted a pass to Melinda Pina in the middle of the field and Pina out-raced the Denver defense and scored from about5 20 yards out.
A few minutes later, however, Denver’s Maggie Kirchhoff scored on a sharp angle from the right, followed about three minutes later with a goal from Melissa Behrent to tie the game at the 62:00 mark.