North Texas Daily

Led by a Holden hat-trick, North Texas soccer returns to win column

Led by a Holden hat-trick, North Texas soccer returns to win column

September 09
23:07 2016

The Mean Green soccer team bounced back from a rough Oregon trip by defeating Texas Southern University by a convincing final score of 7-1 Friday night.  With the win, North Texas (5-1-1) remained an unblemished 4-0-0 at home this season, and extended their home winning streak to 12 games.

“Fans are a big deal,” senior defender Alexsis Cable said. “And [there is] that pride factor, like you’re not losing at home. It’s the reputation that we have, teams come in knowing that we dominate at home.”

Senior forward Rachel Holden jump-started the game with a goal just 26 seconds after kickoff from a precise pass from sophomore forward Taylor Torres. She went on to find the back of the net for a hat trick.

“[We were] just finishing our opportunities,” Holden said. “Some games it’s a little harder for us, but this game I feel like we focused on being composed in the box and just finishing.”

After starting the second half up 3-0, Texas Southern (2-3-0) drew a penalty kick in the 48th minute, which they converted. In response, the Mean Green countered with a three-goal barrage in under two minutes of play, raising their lead to 6-1.

“We never like to give up goals,” Holden said. “We always have to comeback in some sort of way. So we came out even harder, and we just wanted to finish.”

Joining the goal scoring party, junior forward Cat Sebazco netted her first career goal in the 74th minute to cap off the dominant win.

Widening the field is common in soccer for the home team, but with this team and their wide play style, head coach John Hedlund made some adjustments to the sidelines.

“I wanted to give our offensive players, and our speed players, more space,” Hedlund said. “We tried to [make the field] as wide as possible, and we got almost 75 yards out of it. I think it helped tonight.”

Pushing the sidelines out more allowed for a quick North Texas team to get in several crosses, which gave the opposing defense headaches all night long.

With an important road game on Sunday against the University of Arkansas and the score being comfortable for the Mean Green, all 24 players on the roster played. With Arkansas and the University of Texas as the next two matches, Hedlund stressed a few keys for the team.

“We have to put defense first,” Hedlund said. “We have to cut down on our mistakes in the back, and we did that tonight for the most part. Against teams that we’re preparing to play, defense has to come first and we can come out of that and utilize our offensive players.”

Despite winning by six goals. Hedlund stressed defense after the game, especially since their next two matches will put them to the test.

“We have to work as a team,” Cable said. “Game by game our defense is improving, and I think that we’re going to do well this weekend.”

Next up: North Texas soccer heads to Arkansas to take on the University of Arkansas Sunday at 6 p.m.

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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