Penalty kick drops soccer team in final game of regular season

Penalty kick drops soccer team in final game of regular season

Penalty kick drops soccer team in final game of regular season
October 31
18:10 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

After securing the No. 1 seed in the Conference-USA tournament with a win on Sunday, the Mean Green soccer team fell to Louisiana Tech University (12-7-1, 5-4-1) by a score of 1-0 in its final game of the regular season.
The loss was the first against a conference opponent this year. It snaps an eight-game winning streak by North Texas (16-3-1, 8-1-1) and is the first loss suffered since being defeated by Texas A&M University on Sep. 20.
“It’s really unfortunate when you have as many shots as we did tonight and put forth the effort that we did to not get that result,” senior midfielder Lindsey Hulstein said.
The Mean Green nearly scored on its first shot for the third consecutive game. Junior forward Rachel Holden put one up just 58 seconds into the game but was denied of her 12th goal of the season by opposing goalkeeper Kylee Seto.
North Texas had another opportunity in the 14th minute, when junior forward Anna Flobeck had its only other first half shot on goal saved at the net. Nevertheless, the stingy Mean Green defense kept the game scoreless by allowing only seven shots in the first 45 minutes, none of which were on goal.
“The longer that we go without scoring, it keeps teams around and it gives them confidence,” Hulstein said. “If they get something like a penalty kick or some kind of chance, it’s going to be really difficult to come back from that.”
Each team came out aggressive early in the second half, each having two shots saved in the first ten minutes. The action remained back-and-forth and got physical as the end of regulation neared.
Both teams exchanged consecutive fouls before Louisiana Tech took advantage of a penalty kick opportunity in the 75th minute to take a 1-0 lead. The score marked the first time North Texas has trailed in a conference game all season.
North Texas did not go down without a fight. Despite an explosive four-shot surge in the final five minutes, the Mean Green failed to tie the game as time expired.
“Maybe this was a wake-up call,” freshman defender Carissa Sanders said. “We’ll play better in the conference tournament.”
Junior forward Rachel Holden, the Mean Green’s leading goal scorer, was limited to just 28 minutes of game action. Per NCAA rules, with one more yellow card, Holden would have been ineligible for the first round of the C-USA tournament.
Despite the loss, 2015’s win total of 16 ties an all-time school record for most wins in a season, a feat the Mean Green has achieved in five different years.
“The fact that we were able to take care of business in every single one of our other games really shows how bad we wanted that ring this year,” Hulstein said.
Although its regular season is complete, Hedlund’s squad will have to wait until the conclusion of Sunday’s C-USA games before its first tournament opponent is announced. Its first round matchup will take place on Wednesday in Miami, Florida.

Featured Image: File Photo

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