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Late goal dooms soccer against Texas

Late goal dooms soccer against Texas

Mean Green Senior defender Tori Phillips (24) chases Texas Junior Nakia Graham (11) down the field. Madison Gore

Late goal dooms soccer against Texas
August 27
16:11 2017

For 81 minutes, the Mean Green defense held strong and kept the Longhorns scoreless. That’s what made conceding a goal from a corner off a deflection in the 82nd minute all the more painful.

The University of Texas (4-0) defeated North Texas (2-2) 1-0 Sunday afternoon at the Mean Green Soccer Complex in a match where both teams felt like they should have scored multiple goals.

“I think we fought well and I think we had our opportunities, we just couldn’t put them away” senior midfielder Katie Gernsbacher said. “Our coaches tell us, games are won and lost on free kicks and that’s what happened. We fell asleep, they played a short corner and that’s how college soccer goes.”

Texas dominated the shot tally with 21 shots to North Texas’ 7. Senior defender Tori Phillips was the catalyst of most of the Mean Green’s opportunities as she sent in multiple dangerous crosses regardless of the distance.

Besides set pieces, the offense struggled to attack the Longhorn defense and make the threaded passes they needed to get through onto goal.

“We never really got into a rhythm in our offense,” head coach John Hedlund said. “They’re a very strong and athletic team and they took us a little bit of our game offensively. At the same time, we had some opportunities that if we could’ve buried them it would’ve changed the game.”

The back line, headed by junior Carissa Sanders and Phillips, consistently delivered when pressure was applied by the Texas forwards. However, the Longhorns did have a few open opportunities to score sooner off of the hands of sophomore goalkeeper Miranda Schoening.

“We were holding them the whole time, there’s just little stuff we have to work on, then we have to capitalize on our chances” Phillips said. “I think overall it was just one of those lucky goals they had.”

Twenty-three players saw action for the Mean Green, including two goalies, and 17 played more than 29 minutes, showing the constant roulette of subs there were in this game.

After a match on Friday at Abilene Christian University, Hedlund tried to keep players fresh against this athletic Longhorn team.

“I thought we were wearing down a bit,” Hedlund said. “I’m always looking for that high intensity throughout the game and coming off of a Friday game, I knew I was going to have to dip into my bench several times today.”

The Longhorns have convincing wins over fellow Conference USA schools, Western Kentucky and Rice, but the Mean Green being just eight minutes from a draw shows promise to the players and coaches.

“I think we learned we can stick with some of the best teams,” Gernsbacher said. “We stuck with [Arkansas] too, we just need to finish it. We get the opportunities and we’re not putting the ball in the back of the net yet.”

Next up: North Texas takes on Texas A&M Corpus Christi Friday on the road at 7 p.m.

Featured Image: Mean Green Senior defender Tori Phillips (24) chases Texas Junior Nakia Graham (11) down the field. Madison Gore

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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