North Texas Daily

Brief: soccer loses in C-USA title game for second straight year

Brief: soccer loses in C-USA title game for second straight year

November 09
23:02 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green soccer team lost to Rice University 2-0 in the Conference USA tournament championship game on Sunday, falling short in avenging last year’s loss in the finals.

Rice struck first in the 21st minute when midfielder Gabriela Iribarne got into the open field and shot the ball past junior goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine. This was the first time in seven games that the Mean Green (16-5-1) failed to score first.

North Texas was dealt another blow in the 30th minute after Kerestine took a knee to the face and was forced to miss the remainder of the game. The junior goalkeeper had led the Mean Green defense to five consecutive shutouts up until this game. North Texas also lost sophomore forward Marchelle Davis to injury in the 20th minute, forcing her to miss the rest of the contest.

The Owls made the score 2-0 in the 65th minute with another Irabarne goal, this time finding the back of the net after deflecting the ball off of a Mean Green defender. Rice beat North Texas in just about every offensive statistic, including shots (17-9), shots on goal (3-1) and corner kicks (4-1).

Despite losing Kerestine and Davis early in the game, offensive production was an issue throughout the tournament for the Mean Green. The team’s only goals of the tournament came from corner kicks set up by junior midfielder Karla Pineda. She assisted all three North Texas goals.

The goal allowed by Kerestine in the first half was her first allowed goal in seven conference tournament games, dating back to 2011 in the Sun Belt.

North Texas still has an outside chance of receiving an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, but the odds are not stacked in its favor. The Mean Green’s national RPI is 61, but only 64 teams are selected to the tournament, including a large number of automatic bids. All at-large bids are announced on Monday.

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