The seven-time Conference USA champion North Texas soccer team begins league play this Friday with a 7 p.m. home match versus Old Dominion. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Mean Green are 21-2-3 (.865) in all matches against C-USA opponents – the Monarchs are the only ones to beat the Mean Green.
Along with being the conference opener, UNT will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program and honor many of its alums.
“Every year ODU is a tough game,” said Berklee Peters who leads the team in goals with six. “As a team this week we just need to work on being more aggressive, possessive and working together as a whole. We can’t take ODU lightly or anyone in our conference. Every team likes to play is the hardest.”
Working in the Mean Green’s favor is that Friday’s match will be at home. North Texas has not only never lost a home match to ODU (2-0), but they haven’t lost a home conference match to anyone since Oct. 31, 2008. They’ve gone a NCAA record 49 straight home conference matches without a loss.
Since joining C-USA in 2013, UNT has won 86.1% of its conference matches – including conference tournament matches — and won 60 total matches against league foes. Rice has the next most during that frame with 46 wins.
With the history and the Mean Green being the defending regular season and tournament champions, UNT was picked by the league coaches at the start of the season to repeat as champs in 2019.
2019 C-USA preseason poll
1. North Texas (13)
2. Florida Atlantic
5. Middle Tennessee
T6. Louisiana Tech
T6. Old Dominion
9. Southern Miss (1)
Friday will be the start of a three-match home stand for North Texas. The Mean Green only play ODU this week but follow that up with a Thursday match versus Southern Miss who UNT beat in last season’s conference championship match. They conclude the home stand on Sunday the 29th versus Middle Tennessee who feature two of the best offensive players in the league.
If UNT can pull out of the three-match home stand without a loss, they will have set a program record for most consecutive matches without a loss – 25. The Mean Green last lost a home match on Aug. 27, 2017 with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Texas.
Three home wins to open conference play would extend the team’s home winning streak to 14. The program record for consecutive home wins is 17.They’d have to wait until the conference tournament, which the Mean Green are hosting, to possibly break that record.
But one match at a time is the team focus headed into conference play.
“One at a time,” Peters said. “It’s been the focus ever since I got here.”
The 2019 season is also the 25th of the North Texas soccer program, which is the winningest program in UNT history and features head coach John Hedlund who is the winningest coach in UNT history.
The Mean Green have had over 200 women suit up for the program over the past 25 seasons and with Hedlund being the only head coach over the program’s lifespan there is a strong bond between the alums who have seen their Mean Green go from playing on Beer Barn Field to now in its brand new facility.
Though on any gameday, practice or even off day, former players can be seen checking in on Hedlund and the team, Friday they will honor those who have helped the program get to where it is today. In addition to being recognized at Friday’s soccer match, the alums will be at Saturday night’s home football game against UTSA.
Alums who would like to attend Friday or Saturday’s events need to contact Fleur Benatar (Fleur.Benatar@unt.edu).