DENTON – Two extra-time periods couldn't separate North Texas and Alabama as the schools drew 1-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Mean Green Soccer Stadium. Mean Green goalkeeper Kelsey Brann
made nine saves, including a pair with seven minutes remaining to keep the game level.
"She was big time," North Texas head coach John Hedlund
said. "She made a huge save there at the end when she smothered it. Both keepers were outstanding in this game."
North Texas struck first in the 68th
minute on Taylor Torres'
first goal of the season after she collected a free ball, turned past the defender and shot past the goalie's right.
"I was just trying to settle it in front of me and get a shot off, but it went behind me and around the defender," Torres said. "I'm glad it happened that way."
"It was a hard fought game in the crazy heat by both teams," Hedlund said. "When Taylor scored late in the second half I really thought that 1-0 lead was going to hold up for us for the win but credit Alabama for coming back and tying the game on a great goal. I'm very proud of my teams effort during regulation and both overtime periods, Kelsey and the defense came up big for us throughout the game especially when Dominique (James) had to come off the field with a cramp."
The Mean Green's back line interrupted a number of Crimson Tide opportunities, blocking a pair of shots in the 22nd
minute. After Taylor Morgan's attempt was thwarted, Natalie Newell
dove to turn away another shot from Abbie Boswell.
"We were really focusing on finishing, making sure we're tight together and have no gaps," junior defender Dominique James
However, Boswell found the back of the net in the 79th
minute when she collected a pass from Chloe Maize, dribbled past the defender and fired a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and past Kelsey Brann
North Texas survived another Alabama attack in the 34th
minute, when James made a crucial slide tackle on the Crimson Tide forward to prevent a potential shot. James broke up a number of passes in the first half and led a lockdown defense that allowed just one shot on goal out of 10 total shots.
"We were just trying to apply a lot of pressure and make sure they didn't get any shots in the box," James said. "We tried to push them as far back as we could."
North Texas wraps up a three-game homestand to begin the season when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m. Friday.
- The Mean Green are 6-3-1 all-time against SEC schools and 0-1-1 against the Crimson Tide.
- For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, North Texas is unbeaten through its first two games.
- Aaliyah Nolan
led the Mean Green in shots (5) and shots on goal (3) in just 48 minutes.