North Texas Daily

Soccer ties Alabama-Birmingham at home

Soccer ties Alabama-Birmingham at home

Soccer ties Alabama-Birmingham at home
October 06
14:00 2022

Soccer competed at home on Sunday after a two-game road trip last week.

After getting a full week of rest for the first time this season, the Mean Green hosted the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a chance to move up the Conference USA standings.

The Mean Green (7-4-2, 3-1-0 C-USA) came out early with a shot in the first minute from junior forward Devyn Flannery. North Texas did not get another shot attempt until the 24th minute when senior forward Madi Drenowatz bounced the ball off the top of the woodwork.

North Texas’ offense followed with several shots but saves from the Blazers (7-2-3, 4-0-1) senior goalkeeper Eve Beyers kept the score tied at the end of the first period.

“It was just unfortunate [that] we had some unlucky post hits,” junior defender Rachel Roebuck said. “But overall, we played really well [and] we shut them out, which is the most important thing.”

The Mean Green outshot Alabama-Birmingham nine to two in the first half with a combination of corner kicks, set plays and free kick opportunities. To end the half, Blazers senior forward Sha’nya Stephens was given a yellow card for a delay of game when North Texas tried to set up a free kick before time expired. The game clock stopped, but ultimately the set play from North Texas ended in freshman forward Summer Brown’s shot being blocked.

“Our offense is getting up there, we just need to find the net,” Roebuck said. “We’re doing it on the attack, we’re doing well on defense [and] now we just have to finish our chances.”

North Texas started pressing Alabama-Birmingham to begin the second half, which led to an early opportunity for graduate forward Olivia Klein to get her ninth goal of the season. Klein corralled a pass from Roebuck at the top of the penalty box and dribbled past her defender for a clean shot off her right foot that was saved by Beyers in the center of the goal.

The Mean Green outshot the Blazers 10 to two in the second half and had more shots on goal than Alabama-Birmingham had total shots. The Blazers’ opportunity came when sophomore forward Carlyn Presley got a clean shot at the goal, but freshman keeper Dani Jacobson corralled for her third save of the game. Jacobson currently leads all of C-USA with six shutouts this season.

“We’ve just started playing with more chemistry over the last couple of practices,” Jacobson said. “We’ve been just working on defensive corners, defensive set pieces, positioning and also communicating.”

The best opportunity of the night for North Texas came in the 69th minute when senior forward Allie Byrd got into the penalty area and hit a shot off the right post. The ball came back out to freshman forward Kat Burnell who got off another shot that was saved by Beyers. In the final seconds of the game, North Texas got the ball back into the penalty area on a pass from Klein to redshirt junior Taylor Tufts, who shot the ball high, but was again denied by Beyers.

“It’s just unlucky, but you know what? Ball never lies,” Jacobson said. “If we end up playing them in the conference tournament, then I don’t think we’ll have that issue.”

North Texas travels to Houston next week to play Rice University for a chance to take control of the first seed in the C-USA standings. Rice (6-7, 4-0) is undefeated in C-USA but is coming off a 1-0 loss against Texas A&M University.

Featured Image: Avery fights to gain control of the ball to pass to her teammates on Oct. 2, 2022. Photo by Lauren Campbell

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Paul Witwer

Paul Witwer

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