BOCA RATON, Florida (11/05/09) - The Mean Green soccer team fell victim to the Cinderella UALR Trojans 1-0 in the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon. One day after knocking out No. 1 seed FIU, the eighth-seeded Trojans clamped down on the North Texas offense to deny the Mean Green a trip to the conference championship.
North Texas (12-7-2) had plenty of opportunities at the net and even outshot UALR (10-11-1) 14-5 and 7-3 shots on goal, however it was Christina Veasley's goal in the 29th minute that proved to be the game-winner. Veasley scored the goal on a cross from Alison Davis, which enabled Veasley to get behind the Mean Green defense and beat keeper Mandy Hall.
"It's a tough loss especially when you out shoot your opponent 14-5 and have the better of the play most of the night," North Texas head coach John Hedlund said. "But give them credit, once they scored they became very defensive minded and were able to hold on to the lead the rest of the way."
North Texas drops to 10-2 all-time against UALR and 20-8 in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Thursday's game marked the second straight season in which the Mean Green was knocked out in the semi-finals and was the final game for seniors Kendall Juett, Kelli Lunsford and Lauren Shockey.
UALR advances to the Sun Belt Championship for the first time in school history. They will play the winner of the Denver/Arkansas State match.
The Mean Green, who advanced to at least the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for a 10th straight season, still have a bright future and will return 20 of the 23 players next season.
"Even though it's disappointing now we probably played one of our toughest schedules to date and were able to have another winning season with a roster mainly made up of underclassmen," Hedlund said. "Out of all the teams at this year's tournament, outside of Troy, we had to play all of them on the road which was not a easy task. So I'm proud of what my girls had to overcome just to get to this point because it was not easy being on the road for the last month of the season."