North Texas Daily

Mean Green soccer beats FIU on game winner

Mean Green soccer beats FIU on game winner

October 19
19:02 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green soccer team defeated Florida International University 2-1 on Sunday after a game-winning penalty kick goal in the 87th minute from junior forward Karla Pineda.

Pineda provided all of the offense for North Texas (11-4-1, 5-1-1), scoring the game-winner and assisting on the team’s opening goal. Sophomore forward Rachel Holden received a Pineda pass in the ninth minute and drilled the ball to the top right hand corner of the goal to give the Mean Green a 1-0 lead. The goal was Holden’s fourth of the season.

“It was probably the best goal. It was a perfect ball right in stride,” Holden said. “Then I just hit it with my left foot and it went over the keeper.”

North Texas entered halftime with a 1-0 lead but allowed a late-game goal for the third time this season. Unlike the previous games this season where North Texas was forced into overtime after a late defensive lapse, the Mean Green prevented the extra period by scoring on a penalty kick in the 87th minute. Holden again made a run past the FIU defense but was taken down by a Panther defender.

Pineda then took the penalty kick for North Texas and put it past FIU goalkeeper Nevena Stojakovic.

“Rachel did awesome getting the foul,” Pineda said. “I was nervous, but I had to do it and kicked it and it went in.”

For the game, North Texas only registered five shots on goal but converted two of them. Holden said that the Mean Green offense still has room to improve.

“Sometimes our offense is really on, and sometimes we’re off. But we always try to find a way to get those goals,” Holden said. “I think we are scoring a little more in conference, but we still have stuff to work on.”

The Florida humidity played a factor in the game, forcing head coach John Hedlund to use more substitutions than normal.  Hedlund said he was proud of his team’s effort and ability to stay resilient, even after FIU (7-7-1, 2-3-1) tied the game late.

“It showed tremendous character just with how they were playing all throughout the game,” Hedlund said. “We’ve been on a five consecutive game road trip, and this was the last one. We wanted to end it right.”

With the win, North Texas finished its month-long road trip 3-1-1 and has only home games remaining on its regular season schedule. The Mean Green still leads Conference-USA with 16 points and controls its own destiny for the number one seed in the C-USA tournament.

The Mean Green will return home to host the second place University of North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers on Friday at 7 p.m.

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