North Texas Daily

Soccer defeats Marshall 2-0, advances to C-USA semi-finals

Soccer defeats Marshall 2-0, advances to C-USA semi-finals

November 05
20:32 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green soccer team defeated Marshall University 2-0 in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament.

North Texas beat the eighth seeded Thundering Herd with a combination of precise corner kicks and top-tier goaltending from junior goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine. The shutout today was Kerestine’s sixth straight in a conference tournament game and her 13th this season.

Both goals came in nearly identical fashion, with junior midfielder Molly Grisham successfully connecting off of corner kicks from junior midfielder Karla Pineda in the 15th and 61st minutes. Grisham had only two goals throughout the regular season but matched that total against Marshall.

“We knew we would have good opportunities from the corner because of the way they defended, and Karla played the most perfect balls ever,” Grisham said. “She made it easy for me.”

The assists were numbers 12 and 13 for Pineda.. Head coach John Hedlund said that Pineda’s abilities give this team an edge even when the offense is struggling.

“When the offense is somewhat not working, we can always count on Karla with the set pieces,” Hedlund said. “That’s really helped us throughout the entire year.

Although Marshall was the eighth seed against the top seeded Mean Green, the Thundering Herd gave North Texas a run for its money. Marshall had an early header opportunity that found its way straight into Kerestine’s hands, and the Thundering Herd also came out firing throughout the second half. Marshall outshot North Texas 20-11 in the game, including nine shots on goal.

However, Kerestine continued to make clutch stops down the stretch, racking up a total of seven saves in the game. The defense made some key stops as well, including a kick save by senior defender Leah Cox following a late Marshall corner kick.

The Thundering Herd was one of three C-USA teams that the Mean Green did not face during the regular season. But despite being a matchup between a top seeded team and an eighth seeded team, Kerestine said that Marshall was no easy opponent.

“They definitely did not break down at all. They played the full 90 minutes,” Kerestine said. “They honestly gave us a run for our money and really wanted to take that game from us.” 

North Texas will meet Middle Tennessee State University in the semi-finals round on Friday at 6p.m. It will be Mean Green’s second straight tournament matchup against a team they did not play during the regular season.

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