Soccer Looks To Keep Pace With SBC Leaders
The Mean Green take on UALR and Arkansas State this weekend, looking to keep pace with Denver (7-1-0) and FIU (6-1-1) at the top of the Sun Belt standings. North Texas controls its own destiny in the Sun Belt Regular Season Championship Race; if Nort
Game Notes In PDF Format
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 - 7 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
UALR Trojans (7-10-0, 3-5-0 Sun Belt) at
North Texas Mean Green (11-4-1, 6-1-0 Sun Belt)
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: North Texas leads 10-2-1
Last Meeting: T, 1-1 (2ot) (10/21/2010) at UALR
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2011 - 1 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
North Texas Mean Green at
Arkansas State Red Wolves (6-8-2, 4-4-0)
ASU Soccer Complex (500) - Jonesboro, Ark.
Series History: North Texas leads 14-0-0
Last Meeting: W, 2-0 (10/24/2010) at NT
North Texas Looks To Keep Pace With SBC Leaders
The Mean Green take on UALR and Arkansas State this weekend, looking to keep pace with Denver (7-1-0) and FIU (6-1-1) at the top of the Sun Belt standings. North Texas controls its own destiny in the Sun Belt Regular Season Championship Race; if North Texas and Denver win out this weekend, the winner of the Oct. 28 game is the Sun Belt Champion.
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 42 goals, and 9th in Division 1 with 2.63 goals per 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.
All We Do Is Win, No Matter What
Having clinched a winning season in 2011, North Texas has now never had a losing season in their 17 years as a program. Only North Carolina (29 seasons entering this year), 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.
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 19th in the nation with 12 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.
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 cancelled 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.
Jackie Says No!
Freshman goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine has four shutouts in her last six 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 is tied for second in Shutouts in league games, while she ranks second in the league in Goals Against Average (71st nationally) and tied for fourth in 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. At 6-1 she is the tallest soccer player in the Sun Belt and the third-tallest female athlete at North Texas. She is on pace to have the fourth-best single season GAA in North Texas history.
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 17 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. UALR
North Texas is 10-2-1 against the Trojans, and holds a 7-0-0 mark against UALR at home. North Texas played UALR to a double-overtime draw last season in Little Rock.
North Texas vs. Arkansas State
The Mean Green are undefeated and untied against the Red Wolves in 14 total meetings. North Texas has dominated Arkansas State by a total score of 65-5 over 13 meetings, and have scored 6+ goals six times against the Red Wolves.
Scarfone's Recent Play
Junior midfielder Ellen Scarfone has been on a tear recently, scoring or assisting in six out of seven Sun Belt games, giving her four goals and six assists over that span, bringing her into the national rankings. Scarfone ranks 17th in the nation and tied for first in the Sun Belt with eight assists, and leads the Sun Belt in league games with six assissts.
This Supposed To Be Y'all Year? Didn't Get The Memo
North Texas is having one of the best years in school history, here are recaps of last times North Texas has accomplished feats before this year:
2000: Scored 11 goals in a game (Aug. 28)
2005: Hat Tricks In Back-to-Back Games (Michelle Young, Aug. 26, Nikki Crocco, Aug. 28)
2006: Any NT Program beat SMU (Sept. 4), Player had three assists in a game (Young, Aug. 28)
2007: Unbeaten through six games (5-0-1), Started conference 5-0, Had a 12+ goal scorer (Young)
2009: Three straight shutouts (Sep. 25-Oct. 2)
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 seventh in the Sun Belt and 67th in the nation, and five assists, which is tied for sixth in the Sun Belt and 78th 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.
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:
Central No. 5 Baylor, who is a half-game behind Oklahoma St. for first in the Big 12, beat Central No. 10 Missouri 3-1 and Jackson State 5-0 ... Central No. 10 SMU beat Marshall 2-1 but lost in overtime to East Carolina 1-0 ... Houston drew National No. 25 UCF 0-0 and beat Southern Miss 2-0... UC Riverside beat West No. 8 Cal Poly 2-1 in overtime before falling 2-0 to UC Santa Barbara ... Oral Roberts extended its home winning streak to six games with a wins over IUPUI and Western Illinois
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.