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Florida Atlantic ends soccer’s record-breaking conference home streak

Florida Atlantic ends soccer’s record-breaking conference home streak

Florida Atlantic ends soccer’s record-breaking conference home streak
September 19
23:48 2022

Correction
This article has been corrected to show the season score for the University of North Texas after the game and to show the final kick was made by Taylor Tufts.

Soccer’s run of 65-straight conference home games without a loss came to an end Sunday afternoon.

After a 1-0 loss to Florida Atlantic University (5-3-2, 1-0 Conference USA), North Texas (5-4-1, 1-1 C-USA) split its conference-opening weekend at home. The team surrendered an early goal that held for the entirety of the match. 

“We’ve been working on coming out stronger and we didn’t do that,” junior midfielder Avery Barron said. “We just got to learn from our mistakes and bring it to the next game.”

Florida Atlantic University scores against the Mean Green on Sept. 18, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

Redshirt senior midfielder Gi Krstec scored a volley in the 5th minute of the contest to give the Owls an early advantage. Krstec’s shot was the only shot on goal for Florida Atlantic in the first half, with North Texas outshooting the Owls six to three. 

The Mean Green did not control possession until the final stages of the half when they found space down the wings with freshman forward Summer Brown and senior forward Allie Byrd. Both forwards were late subs in the last 15 minutes of the half. 

While the momentum shifted toward North Texas, the Florida Atlantic defense bent, but did not break. The Mean Green once again outshot the Owls in the second half with eight shots to Florida Atlantic’s one, but were unable to find the net. 

An early chance in the second half for junior forward Devyn Flannery was saved by Owls junior goalkeeper Lexi Gonzalez, who dove to her near-side to make the save. North Texas was in on goal again eight minutes later as a header by redshirt freshman defender Meghan Schwertner was denied by Gonzalez. 

In the 79th minute, the Mean Green thought they had leveled the match as Brown slotted a ball past Gonzalez, but the linesman had his flag up for offsides. 

“I didn’t feel [offside] because I had a girl right in front of me,” Brown said. “I didn’t think I was off, kinda sad.”

Junior goalkeeper Lexi Gonzalez makes a save on Sept. 18, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

For the remaining 11 minutes of the match, Florida Atlantic held the ball in possession, wasting North Texas’ time to make a comeback. A shot in the waning moments of the game by redshirt junior midfielder Taylor Tufts breezed inches away from the outside post as time expired. 

65 games unbeaten at home is an NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer record and has spanned since the 2008 season. In that 2008 match, the Mean Green lost to their Sun Belt Conference opponent, Western Kentucky University 1-0. 

Matchups with Middle Tennessee State University and Western Kentucky University await the Mean Green in their first conference road trip of the season. After starting the season 4-0, North Texas has posted a 1-4-1 record in its last six games. 

A tough non-conference schedule that included two Big 12 Conference teams and ranked Southern Methodist University brought the Mean Green into its C-USA slate with a record of 4-3-1. 

Thursday night’s 4-0 win over the University of North Carolina-Charlotte started conference play on a positive note. Not able to create the scoring output that it had on Thursday, North Texas heads into Murfreesboro, Tenn. with a .500 conference record. 

“We need to work on having a quicker start and being confident each game,” junior defender Rachel Roebuck said. “I think a lot of it has to do with our mentality and how we’re planning on coming out as well as how we’re going to control the tempo of the game.”

Featured Image: The Florida Atlantic University team celebrates after their first goal on Sept. 18, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

About Author

Reed Smith

Reed Smith

Senior Sports Writer.

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