SAN ANTONIO — The North Texas soccer team took just four shots on Sunday but the first one was all they needed to remain undefeated in conference as the defense shutout its fourth-straight opponent and beat UT San Antonio 1-0.
The Mean Green (9-3-0, 4-0-0) scored in the 11th minute at UTSA when senior captain Natalie Newell crossed the ball the into the box and junior Elle Marie DeFrain soared above the Road Runners’ (4-5-1, 0-3-0) to head in her second goal of the year.
“That was definitely a defensive battle from both teams today under very tough conditions with the heat,” said head coach John Hedlund. Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff was played under 95 degree weather and no clouds in the sky. “UTSA’s record is very misleading. They’ve been snake-bit a few times late in games and frankly have the talent and size to beat anyone in the conference. So fortunately for us Elle scored on a nice header and our defense came through once again.”
Though UTSA entered Sunday’s match winless in conference, two of its three loses came in the final minute of matches.
Following the goal from DeFrain, North Texas struggled to put constant pressure on the UTSA backline as they had done in its first three conference games and instead relied on its backline and keeper to stay ahead.
Redshirt sophomore goalie Kelsey Brann had a Conference USA play-high six saves including deflecting a couple of close shots where UTSA broke through the defense.
In 360 minutes in conference play, Brann has yet to give up a goal and is the only keeper in C-USA who can say that.
With its 4-0-0 record in conference, North Texas remains on top of the league standings with 12 points. Rice is the only other C-USA school that has yet to lose a league game. However, the Owls tied Middle Tennessee 2-2 on Sept. 26. UNT beat Middle Tennessee 3-0 last Sunday.
Sunday’s win at UTSA marked the Mean Green’s third-straight win over the Roadrunners and the third-straight year they’ve shut them out.