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Physical defense leads soccer past Marshall in C-USA opener

Physical defense leads soccer past Marshall in C-USA opener

North Texas junior defender Cat Sebazco (2) celebrates with junior midfielder Katie Gernsbacher (4) after scoring a goal on October 2. Dylan Nadwodny

Physical defense leads soccer past Marshall in C-USA opener
September 21
23:03 2017

The North Texas women’s soccer team (5-2-1, 1-0) won its first game in Conference USA play, defeating Marshall University (2-7, 0-2) 1-0 on the road Thursday night.

Senior midfielder Kati Gernsbacher scored her first goal of the season in the 11th minute on an assist from freshman Ariel Diaz and junior Taylor Torres, giving the Mean Green the only breathing room they needed.

For the game, North Texas tallied six total shots with Gernsbacher’s goal being the only shot on target.

Still, with only six shots, Gernsbacher feels the Mean Green had plenty of opportunities. Fortunately, the made one count.

“We had a couple of good ones (opportunities) go straight to the keeper that at the end of the day those should be goals,” Gernsbacher said. “I do not think it is necessarily about the number of shots but the quality of them. It’s not always about the stats because the stats don’t always show the game.”

One staggering stat showed just how physical the C-USA opener game was.

The Mean Green had 16 penalties called against them and were assessed four yellow cards in the game, one each for sophomore Brittnye Lawson and junior Aaliyah Nolan. The other two were given to the team’s assistant coaches. Marshall had five penalties in the game.

Junior goalkeeper Brooke Bradley had five saves to preserve the shutout, recording her fifth clean sheet of the season for the Mean Green.

The defense as a whole allowed 11 shots, but most of them out of the 18-yard box.

“For tonight, I really gotta give it to my team,” Bradley said. “We played great defense, I really did not have to do too much.”

Sophomore defender Dominique James said changing the formation to a 4-1-3-2 made all the difference.

“We had a new formation tonight against them [Marshall] that worked really well for us,” James said. “Unfortunately it was only for one goal, but I think they played strong together.”

Coach John Hedlund was able to get several players off the bench subbed into the game, but the four defensive starters played all 90 minutes.

“I think defensively we had one of our best games, we were really strong,” James said. “Over the past week we have been working on playing together, substituting our back line, today we figured out our top four and we played really well together.”

Next up: The Mean Green take on Louisiana Tech University at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Featured Image: North Texas then-junior defender Cat Sebazco (2) celebrates with then-junior midfielder Katie Gernsbacher (4) after scoring a goal on October 2, 2016. Dylan Nadwodny

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Matthew Berger

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