Complete Game Notes In PDF Format
Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 - 7 p.m. - Sun Belt Game
Denver Pioneers (15-3-0, 9-1-0 Sun Belt) at
North Texas Mean Green (12-4-2, 7-1-1 Sun Belt)
Mean Green Soccer Complex (1,000) - Denton, Texas
Series History: Denver leads 12-4-1
Last Meeting: L, 0-1 (10/29/2010) at Denver
Live Audio: MeanGreenSports.com
Mean Green Host Denver In Title Clash
North Texas plays Denver at the Mean Green Soccer Complex with the Sun Belt Regular Season Title going to the winner. The Mean Green has three Sun Belt regular season championships, but have not won the league since 2005. North Texas has a 13-game home unbeaten streak and a 13-game home Sun Belt winning streak on the line, as a win or draw would give North Texas its first undefeated home season since 2005 and first in the Mean Green Soccer Complex. As an insitution, North Texas' last conference championship came when tennis won the tournament in April 2010. On Senior Night, this is the last home game for Shannon Gorrie, Carly McDowell, Kelsey Perlman, Nikki Crocco, Hannah Crawford and Julie Lackey, who have been a part of 50 wins at North Texas, tied for 30th-most in the nation the past four years (via CollegeSoccer360.com).
A one-seed in the Sun Belt Tournament and the Sun Belt Regular Season Championship is on the line Friday in Denton. North Texas has not won a conference title in any sport since tennis won the tournament in 2010, and hasn't had a chance to win a conference title outright at home since 2004, when football beat Idaho at Fouts Field.
If North Texas Wins: North Texas wins the conference and is the one seed in the Sun Belt Tournament.
If North Texas Draws: Denver wins the conference. North Texas is the two seed in the Sun Belt Tournament if FIU draws or loses to Florida Atlantic, and is the three seed if FIU wins.
If North Texas Loses: Denver wins the conference. North Texas is the two seed if FIU loses and Middle Tennessee does not win. North Texas is the three seed if FIU draws or wins OR Middle Tennessee wins. North Texas is the four seed if FIU draws or wins AND Middle Tennessee wins.
North Texas' Offense Ranks 13th Nationally
North Texas has had a strong offensive attack so far this season, ranking second in the Sun Belt Conference with 45 goals, and 13th in Division 1 with 2.50 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.
Scarfone's Recent Play
Junior midfielder Ellen Scarfone has been on a tear recently, scoring or assisting in seven out of nine Sun Belt games, giving her five goals and six assists over that span, bringing her into the national rankings. Scarfone ranks 20th 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.
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 second in the Sun Belt Conference and ranks 24th 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.
Jackie Says No!
Freshman goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine has five shutouts in her last eight 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 SBC in Goals Against Average, is tied for second in Shutouts, and is tied for second in Save Percentage in league games, while she ranks second in the league in Goals Against Average (59st 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 SBC and the third-tallest female athlete at NT. She is on pace to have the third-best single season GAA in North Texas history.
North Texas vs. Denver
North Texas has played Denver five times for the Sun Belt Tournament Title, and have traditionally faced each other at the end of the year with regular season standing on the line. Four times have Denver and North Texas finished 1-2 in the Sun Belt standings, which could happen this season. Denver and North Texas' last two contests have been 1-0 affairs to Denver, but both have been in the Mile High City. This is Denver's last Sun Belt Conference game, they will compete in the WAC in 2012.
Scoreless First Halves
North Texas has held opponents to minimal offensive production in the first half, shutting out its opponent 14 times in the opening frame, going on to a 11-2-1 record in those games. North Texas has played eight scoreless first halves, and has a 5-2-1 record in those games.
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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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. NT is 1-1 against regionally ranked teams this season, and takes on the No. 8 team in the South, Denver, on Friday.
Selected results from NT's non-conference opponents:
SMU clinched a berth in the C-USA Tournament with a 2-1 win at UTEP ... Houston beat Marshall 2-1 before falling to East Carolina 2-0 ... Central No. 4 Baylor, who finished 3rd in the Big 12, lost 1-0 to National No. 2 Oklahoma State, and beat Oklahoma 3-0 ... Texas Southern holds on to the second spot in the SWAC West with a 2-1-1 record.
Pina Goes Into The Hall Of Fame
Melinda Pina (2001-04) becomes the fourth North Texas soccer player to be inducted to the North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 22. Pina, who was a three-time All-Sun Belt Selection, led the team to a 2004 NCAA Tournament berth, and ranks second with 51 career goals.
Mean Green Over The Airwaves
Audio streams are available for the remaining North Texas home soccer games on MeanGreenSports.com at no cost to fans. Travis Weeks and Steven Busby handle the call for MeanGreenSports.com