ACU faced the University of North Texas this past Sunday, where they fell 0-2.
Having not played North Texas since 2017, ACU had an idea of their game plan but knew they have gotten stronger over the years.
“We knew exactly who we were playing today,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “What we were going to get out of the game, the physicality of it. I thought we matched up really well with them.”
The Mean Green started pushing from the beginning of the first period. They shot their first ball on goal within the first two minutes, where Lily Foster, a sophomore goalkeeper from Coeur d Alene, Idaho, stopped it with a diving save. After that, UNT outweighed ACU in shots, 15-0, giving North Texas a significant dominant lead. Both teams ended with zero goals going into halftime.
“As a team, we played really well,” Foster said. “Competing against UNT, we weren’t necessarily expected to win, but we prepared really hard for this because we didn’t know how it was going to go. So I think overall, we did a pretty good job competing with an upper-level team.”
Going into the second half, the Wildcats picked up the pace and started giving UNT a challenge. With this, ACU gained four shots, while UNT gained 11. North Texas tallied five corner kicks leading to two goals made by Allie Byrd, a junior forward from Kingwood.
Despite the low number of shots from ACU, the Wildcats played the aggressive game that UNT was feeding them. Natalie Wodka, a senior midfielder from Allen, tallied two shots, while Emily Heidman, a redshirt senior defender from Rowlett, and Grace Ornelas, a freshman defender from Weatherford, tallied one shot.
Fouls were high for both teams in this game. UNT counted eight fouls, while ACU tallied five fouls, including a yellow card from Megan Paul, a redshirt senior midfielder from Wylie. From previous matchups, Wilson knew that North Texas would bring an aggressive game, and they would have to match that to keep up.
“We had to match their aggressiveness since we were standing there 0-0,” Wilson said. “We had to match up with their midfield today and make a couple of changes to our out wides. And by using some of our taller players to take control like Paul, Wodka, Ornelas, Denn, and company, I thought they did an excellent job.”
The Wildcats stay at home for their third-straight matchup at home against Grambling Sunday at 1 p.m. in Elmer Gray Stadium for Senior Day.