North Texas Daily

ICYMI: Soccer starts season with a 5-1 win over Abilene Christian

ICYMI: Soccer starts season with a 5-1 win over Abilene Christian

ICYMI: Soccer starts season with a 5-1 win over Abilene Christian
August 19
13:50 2022

North Texas soccer opened its campaign with a 5-1 victory over Abilene Christian University at home Thursday night. 

The Mean Green outshot the Wildcats 33-to-3 on the night with 20 North Texas shots coming in the second half of the contest. Abilene Christian (0-1, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) converted one of its three shots for the team’s only goal of the contest.

Senior forward Jenna Sheely picked up her first booking of the season, a yellow card, after a tactical foul in the 27th minute. The match’s intensity remained high after head coach John Hedlund received a warning for questioning the officials. 

Falling behind in the 28th minute on a freshman forward Hannah Vetromile goal, the Mean Green responded with two consecutive goals. Senior forward Allie Byrd tied the game with a goal in the 29th minute that was followed by a go-ahead strike from Sheely.

“[North Texas] as a whole, we don’t lose on our home field,” senior forward Olivia Klein said. “When we [concede] we know something has to happen to bring it back, so [Byrd] followed the ball and got us back into the game. 

Save for a few chances that didn’t find the net, the game settled for the remainder of the half after the three consecutive goals. Two minutes into the second half North Texas (1-0, 0-0 Conference USA) increased the deficit to two. Junior forward Alexis Truitt connected with Klein as the fifth-year senior received a low cross that she directed to redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lily Foster’s right side, which froze the Wildcats’ keeper.

Junior midfielder Devyn Flannery continued the Mean Green’s production offensively with a goal assisted by redshirt junior Taylor Tufts in the 51st minute. North Texas scored its fifth and final goal of the night in the 75th minute as senior forward Madison Drenowatz directed a sophomore midfielder Grace Dennis corner kick into the left side of the goal with her head. The contest finished 5-1 in favor of the Mean Green with five different goal scorers. 

“We put up to five tonight and we’re hoping to do the same to Oral Roberts on Sunday,” Drenowatz said. “The more people we have scoring, the more goals we have […] that’s how you win titles.”’

Freshman goalkeeper Dani Jacobson from Parker, Colo. made her official debut for North Texas. Following Sarah Fuller’s stepping away from soccer, the Mean Green’s starting keeper role was filled by Jacobson in the first game of the season. Abilene Christian were unable to test the 5-foot-9-inch freshman on the night – one of its three shots resulted in Jacobson’s only save of the night in the second half. 

“This team brings such a good energy,” Jacobson said. “In the locker room, even before the games, we’re just ready to kick it and when the whistle blows, it’s an automatic go. That’s why I love this team.”

North Texas finds itself with a rebuilt roster following the departure of key players in the offseason. Eight of the 28 players on the team’s roster are freshmen. Six players transferred into the program in 2022. 

With so many newcomers on the roster, the Mean Green are building chemistry as the season progresses. 

“We have a lot of transfers and a lot of freshmen, so it’s taking some time to gel,” Drenowatz said. “I think our 5-0 performance tonight shows that we’re all coming together.”

North Texas returns home on Sunday night to face Oral Roberts University.

Image source Mean Green Sports

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

fall sports editor

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