The North Texas Mean Green, which outranks UH by 66 spots in the NCAA’s RPI rankings, defeated the Cougars 2-1 Saturday in their fourth non-conference game of the season.
The game, UH’s second loss, took place at the University of North Texas’ Mean Green Stadium and was scoreless until UNT junior Kelsey Hodges scored a free kick. The Cougars retaliated in the 60th minute with a goal courtesy of junior midfielder Jasmine Martinez, but the tie was broken by UNT senior Michelle Young in the 82nd minute.
“I was very happy with the way we played Sunday afternoon,” head coach Chris Pfau said. “We did some great things against a NCAA-tournament caliber team.”
UNT outshot the Cougars 11-3 during the second half and 16-7 throughout the match. Goals were contributed by Martinez, junior midfielder Kylie Cook, senior midfielder/defender Kaci Bush, junior forward Sami Sackos, junior midfielder/defender Rebekah Horsey and freshman forward Lauren Hodgdon.
“We’ve slipped and we’ve failed and been unsuccessful in moments, but we’ve shown a lot of character and determination and shown ability of what we need to have on the field,” assistant coach Suzie Grech said.
The Cougars face the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, No. 259 on the NCAA RPI list, at 7 p.m. Friday and the 43rd-ranked Louisiana State University at 1 p.m. on Sunday, both away games.
“When we start to believe how we could be, we will be a tough team to beat,” Pfau said. “Right now we just need games to gain that confidence in ourselves and our teammates.”
The first Conference USA game will take place Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Robertson Stadium against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs.