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Recap: Soccer tops Oklahoma with strong defense, penalty kick goal in home-opening win

Recap: Soccer tops Oklahoma with strong defense, penalty kick goal in home-opening win

Recap: Soccer tops Oklahoma with strong defense, penalty kick goal in home-opening win
March 05
03:09 2021

After playing its first three official matches of the spring on the road, the soccer team returned to Denton and won its home-opening contest over the University of Oklahoma by a score of 1-0.

In defeating the Sooners (0-9-1, Big 12 Conference 0-8-1), North Texas (3-0, Conference-USA 0-0) secured its first win over a Power Five school since defeating the University of Pittsburgh 4-1 on Sept. 2, 2018. The win also marked 17 straight home victories for the Mean Green, tying their previous program record which was set from 2015-2017.

The Mean Green is now 10-0 in home regular-season matches since moving into their new stadium in the fall of 2019. Counting the team’s three wins during the C-USA tournament last season, which North Texas hosted, the Mean Green are now 13-0 in the new stadium.

“We had a lot of coming together this week, so I feel like we brought that out to the field and we just came at ’em hard,” Senior midfielder Brooke Lampe said. “We don’t lose on our game field and we made it very clear that’s what we’re not going to do.”

It was a scoreless first half from both teams which saw North Texas get 2-of-7 shots on goal and Oklahoma 1-of-2. The Mean Green earned all five of their corner kicks in the second half and ultimately scored the deciding goal in the match’s 58-minute mark on a penalty kick. Sophomore midfielder Michelle Gonzalez was awarded the penalty kick following an Oklahoma handball within the penalty box and netted it for the game’s lone score, marking her first goal of the season and the third of her career.

“It feels awesome,” Gonzalez said. “I play midfield, [so] I don’t really score. The goalie came out and tried to get in my head, but I told myself not to be nervous. I chose a side and I actually hit it to the other side when I hit it. I was just trying not to be nervous, not letting her get into my head.”

Coming in having last played an official match in November of 2020, Oklahoma took four shots total in the match (one on goal) compared to 17 shots for North Texas (four on goal). Lampe, Gonzalez and redshirt-junior goalkeeper Kelsey Brann all said the team’s defense was a strong point in the match.

“It was definitely a tough game, I thought the team played really well,” Brann said. “Their forwards are really fast and they’re really good at getting in behind the defense, but I think we handled them really well. Overall, I think we played a lot better than we have been recently, so I’m very proud of the team for that.”

North Texas has yet to give up a goal in an official match this season, having shut out LSU-Alexandria (0-3-1, Red River Athletic Conference 0-1-1) 7-0 and Texas State University (4-10-1, Sun Belt Conference 4-4) 1-0 before the 1-0 win over Oklahoma. The Mean Green did give up a goal in their 1-0 exhibition loss to No. 9 Texas A&M University (8-2, Southeastern Conference 7-1) on Feb. 20.

Up Next: The Mean Green are set to open C-USA play on March 7 as they travel to Houston to Rice University (4-0, C-USA 1-0) in the first of six conference matches this spring.

Featured Image: Redshirt junior goalkeeper Kelsey Brann clears the ball to midfield against Oklahoma on March 4, 2021. Image by Zachary Thomas

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John Fields

John Fields

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