Denton, TX — Mackenize German scored her first goal of the year (83’) but UTEP’s late rally bid fell short in a 2-1 setback at North Texas Thursday. The Mean Green (12-6-1, 6-3-1 C-USA) built a 2-0 lead on goals by Kelsey Hodges (2:18) & Rachel Holden (57:28) and managed to hold on for the victory despite the Miners (12-5-3, 5-3-2 C-USA) enjoying advantages in both shots (15-8) and shots on goal (7-2).
UTEP will put the setback in the rearview mirror and begin preparations for the 2013 C-USA Women’s Soccer Championships (Nov. 4-10 hosted by Rice). The Miners have a first-round bye in the event, by virtue of finishing third in the highly-competitive C-USA West Division.
"We were disappointed with the result today, and did not play our best soccer game,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “We will learn from this game, and will be highly motivated for our huge opportunity in the Conference USA tournament on Wednesday. The girls have had a great conference season, and I am very proud of them."
UNT started quickly, with Hodges finishing her own rebound less than three minutes into the contest. The initial try was blocked, and redshirt-freshman GK Keigton Allen was unable to make the stop on the rebound.
UTEP regrouped immediately, firing two shots on goal in the next two minutes. Mean Green GK Haley Riley, who finished with six saves in the contest, turned away a shot from the far left side by German at 2:43 before denying Kenah Linger’s blast from the top of the box at 4:10.
The Orange and Blue withstood a couple of corner kicks over the next 15 minutes before rededicating their attack in search of the equalizer. Three chances were wide in the middle of the period while German was denied at 30:19.
There was a very good look on a header by Angela Cutaia on a header at 40:40 but it was off the mark, and a little less than a minute later Azia Nicholson’s shot was snatched by Riley.
In the second half the Orange and Blue continued to keep the pressure on, with Riley stopping Cutaia at 48:15.
Neither team was able to sustain much possession over the next few minutes before the Miners had a giveaway that put a dent in their comeback bids. Holden took away a ball at the left endline, and did just enough to have the shot find its way past Allen.
The Miners pushed the ball up the pitch quickly, eager to get a comeback in the works. Alexis Roberts tested Riley from the left side, but she was denied.
In the 66’ Holden was issued her second yellow of the match, resulting in her being sent off. The sequence gave UTEP another spark, and it eventually led to German’s goal in the 83rd minute.
She took the ball away from a defender, and lobbed it up and over Riley.
The Miners aspired to produce another tally in the waning minutes but UNT did well to prevent any true chances.