North Texas Daily

C-USA Breakdown: Soccer respected among new opponents

C-USA Breakdown: Soccer respected among new opponents

C-USA Breakdown: Soccer respected among new opponents
August 28
12:58 2013

Jeremy Eackles / Intern

The Mean Green women’s soccer team will be entering its inaugural season in Conference USA this year.  Coming off back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships, UNT will be looking to transfer its success into the new conference.

“There’s definitely a huge transition into everything we do and play for,” junior goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine said. “We don’t know what to expect.  We’ve never played these teams before, so I feel we have to show and prove ourselves in this new conference.”

With an NCAA tournament appearance last year, the Mean Green was tabbed this year by the conference’s coaches to finish third in its inaugural season in C-USA.  Since 2000, the Mean Green have a 33-11-4 record against Conference USA foes with a scoring margin of 108-57.

“Once we get into conference play, every game is going to mean something,” Mean Green women’s soccer coach John Hedlund said.  “With us, we just have to keep improving each week, stay healthy, get the flow in our offense, and we should be OK.”

The conference change will allow the Mean Green to play opponents such as Colorado College, who is coming off an at-large NCAA appearance and was picked to be C-USA’s preseason favorite. Rice University was picked to finish second in the coaches’ vote, while the Mean Green were picked third.

“I’m excited to play all the teams in Conference USA this year,” Kerestine said.  “We have to go through each team one-by-one.”

Colorado College is coming into this year with 6 starters including two-time Midfielder of the Year junior midfielder Jesse Ayers and Rice University will be returning sophomore forward Holly Hargreaves, who was named Conference USA’s rookie of the year.

“I definitely feel that we are the target of the conference,” sophomore forward Amber Haggerty said.  “It doesn’t really affect me – it actually makes me want to work harder to be number one.”

The Mean Green has gotten off to a strong start this season with a 9-1 win at Texas Southern last Friday and a 1-0 victory in their home opener against Houston Baptist.  Their next opponent will be Wake Forest at the Wake Forest Invitational on Friday.

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