North Texas Daily

Mean Green soccer ties Rice in a battle for first place

Mean Green soccer ties Rice in a battle for first place

October 12
21:57 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

In a game for first place atop the Conference USA standings, the Mean Green soccer team tied Rice University 1-1 in a double overtime thriller on the road Sunday.

The Mean Green (10-3-1, 4-0-1) got on the board first as Rice had an own goal about 15 minutes into the game, giving North Texas the early lead. The Mean Green played good defense for the rest of the half and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

Rice (7-2, 3-0-2) got on the board in the 53rd minute of the game, but lightning caused a game delay in the 61st minute. The two teams resumed play after 40 minutes.

“I think it might have been a little breakdown, but also that is when the weather started to get really bad,” sophomore forward Rachel Holden said. “We just lost our focus a little bit but we held up in the end.”

Junior goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine had 11 saves on the day, including two in the overtime periods that helped secure the tie. Head coach John Hedlund said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome of the game.

“I was really proud of my team, the way they battled today,” Hedlund said. “You had two very good teams going at each other all day. It was kind of fitting that it ended in a tie.”

Though the team  got the tie, there are plenty of things that it has to improve on to stay competitive. The Mean Green got seven shots on goal, but couldn’t capitalize on any, which Holden said needs to change.

“We need to work on finishing, our defense is playing well but we got to work on attacking the goal,” Holden said.

Even though it wasn’t a win, junior midfielder Tess Graham said that the team still feels good.

“We came out there very confident,” Graham said. “We knew that we can’t lose if we want a ring.”

The Mean Green continues on the road as they play Florida Atlantic University on Friday. The match starts at 5 p.m.

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