Soccer Prepares For Key Trip To Florida
North Texas, tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference, heads to Florida to face FIU and Florida Atlantic, in what is their final full road weekend of the season. FIU, who ranks third in the Sun Belt standings, looks to gain ground on the Mean Green
Game Notes In PDF Format
Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 - 6 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
North Texas Mean Green (10-3-1, 5-0-0 Sun Belt) at
FIU Panthers (7-6-1, 4-1-1 Sun Belt)
FIU Soccer Stadium (1,500) - Miami, Fla.
Series History: North Texas leads 10-2-1
Last Meeting: W, 2-1 (10/15/2010) at NT
Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 - 12 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
North Texas Mean Green at
Florida Atlantic Owls (5-7-1, 1-4-1 Sun Belt)
FAU Soccer Complex (3,000) - Boca Raton, Fla.
Series History: North Texas leads 5-0-0
Last Meeting: W, 5-0 (10/17/2010) at NT
North Texas Prepares For Key Trip To Florida
North Texas, tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference, heads to Florida to face FIU and Florida Atlantic, in what is their final full road weekend of the season. FIU, who ranks third in the Sun Belt standings, looks to gain ground on the Mean Green and avenge a 2-1 North Texas win from a year ago. Ellen Scarfone is on a five-game point streak, while Kelsey Perlman has had two assists in her last two games.
North Texas' Offense Ranks Sixth Nationally
North Texas has had a strong offensive attack so far this season, ranking first in the Sun Belt Conference with 40 goals, and 9th in Division 1 with 2.86 goals per game. Texas A&M leads the nation at 3.47 goals/game. A testament to its offense, North Texas scored its most goals in a single game in since 2000 on Aug. 28 against Grambling with 11, the third-most in school history.
Rain, Rain Go Away, That's What The Haters Say
North Texas' game with South Alabama was rained out, marking the first time North Texas soccer has had a game called off due to weather since 2005, when a road game at Northwestern State and a home game against Texas Woman's were called off due to Hurricane Rita. The final Sun Belt standings are sorted by winning percentage, so North Texas still controls its own fate in the championship race.
Scarfone's Point Streak
Junior midfielder Ellen Scarfone has been on a tear recently, scoring or assisting in every Sun Belt game, giving her a five-game point streak, and bringing her into the national rankings. Scarfone ranks 23rd in the nation and second in the Sun Belt with seven assists, and leads the Sun Belt in league games with five assissts.
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. North Texas guarantees its 17th straight winning season with one more win or draw.
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 tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference and ranks 17th in the nation with 11 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.
Home Is Where The Wins Are
North Texas is currently unbeaten in its last 12, including a 6-0-1 mark this season, and is 17-1-2 in their last 20 games at home. North Texas is riding a 12 game Sun Belt winning streak at the Mean Green Soccer Complex, and is 16-1 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. FIU
North Texas is riding a ten-game unbeaten streak (9-0-1) against the Golden Panthers, a stretch that includes a victory in the 2004 Sun Belt Title Game. FIU won two of the first three matchups before North Texas' current ten-game streak.
North Texas vs. Florida Atlantic
North Texas has dominated FAU since the Owls joined the league in 2006, with North Texas winning all five matchups, and have only allowed FAU to score in one of those five meetings. North Texas has outscored Florida Atlantic 15-2 in the series.
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 64th in the nation, and five assists, which is tied for sixth in the Sun Belt and 82th 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.
Jackie Says No!
Freshman goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine has three shutouts in her last four games, and has not allowed two goals in a single game since Sept. 18. 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 and Shutouts in league games, while she ranks second in the league in Goals Against Average (88th 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.
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.
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 drew National No. 6 Memphis on the road and won at UAB 2-1 ... Central No. 7 Baylor won at Central No. 8 Kansas 3-1 and at Iowa State 2-0... West No. 10 Cal State Fullerton lost 2-1 at National No. 23 Long Beach State 2-1
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.
All Of The Lights
North Texas is 5-0-0 in night games this season, beating Texas Southern, SMU, Sam Houston, Western Kentucky, and Troy