AUSTIN, Tex. (11/12/04) The most memorable season in North Texas women’s soccer history came to an end as the Mean Green fell to the Texas Longhorns 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. North Texas finishes the 2004 season with a 16-6-1 record.
“I’m very proud of the way this team played tonight,” said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. “It’s been a privileged to coach this team this season and I couldn’t have asked for any better effort from them tonight”.
North Texas opened the game in dominating form with four shots on goal in the first five minutes. The best chance came when freshman forward Heather Hutyra had a one-on-one chance against Texas goalkeeper Alex Gagarin from 15 yards out but her shot went wide of the net.
Texas (14-6-2) grabbed momentum and the lead when Kelly McDonald beat Mean Green goalkeeper Briana Buchanan in the 25th to give the Longhorns a 1-0 lead.
North Texas had a chance to tie the game in the 38th minute of the first half but Hutyra’s chance from 10 yards out was deflected wide of the net.
Texas opened up a 2-0 lead with four minutes left in the first half when Kelly Wilson scored from 10 yards out off a rebound.
Trailing 2-0 the Mean Green had two stellar opportunities in the second half to cut into the Texas lead.
First in the 63rd minute Hutyra fired a shot from 10 yards out that hit the cross bar. One minute later senior Melinda Pina had a shot from 15 yards out that sailed just over the Longhorns net.
Texas was able to ice the game in the 79th minute on a goal by Karen Haight to make it 3-0.
“We were really excited about coming in here tonight and we had nothing to lose,” said Pina. “It just didn’t turn out the way that we wanted it to tonight”.
Pina finishes her career at North Texas with 51 goals, second all-time. Buchanan made a season-high nine saves on the night as Texas out shot North Texas 30-9.
North Texas ends the 2004 season with a school record 16 wins and its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament after capturing the school’s first Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship.