COLLEGE STATION, Texas (11/11/05) Southern Methodist used a hat trick from Kimber Bailey to knock off North Texas 3-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Sun Belt Conference Champion Mean Green (16-4-2) didn’t have an answer for SMU’s (15-4-2) Bailey, who combined with her sister, Krystal, on the opening goal in the game’s 16th minute.
Krystal found Kimber just inside the 18-yard box, who placed a shot over Mean Green goalkeeper Kandice Ellis.
Ellis, however, kept the Mean Green in the game in the first half, registering a couple of key diving saves. The Mustangs took the first six shots of the game before Heather Hutyra was able to begin the North Texas attack.
“I think we were a little nervous to start, but I don’t think the score indicated how good a game this was,” said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. “I knew it would be really tough to beat this team twice in a season, but I am really proud of the way the girls played tonight.”
The Mean Green mounted an offensive late in the half, evening the shots at six apiece with the Mustangs heading into the break.
Kelli Lunsford narrowly missed tying the score early in the second. The Sun Belt Freshman of the Year got behind the Mustang defense and was able to beat goalie Ashley Gunter, but the bad-angle shot hit the outside netting.
Kimber Bailey notched her second goal of the game on a penalty shot in the 68th minute, and added her third three minutes later, redirecting a rebound off of Ellis.
North Texas finishes the season with the best record in school history. The Mean Green has tied the school record with 16 wins, but ends the season with the best winning percentage in its history. The Mean Green has won 11 of their last 13 games and has lost only twice in their past 20 games.
North Texas beat the Mustangs 3-1 earlier this season in Dallas on the strength of a Heather Hutyra hat trick. SMU now leads the all-time series with North Texas 6-3-1
“The next couple of seasons should be the best ever for North Texas soccer, simply because we are so young,” Hedlund said. “I am excited for our future and I know we will be back in the tournament.”