DENTON, Texas -- The North Texas soccer team won its season opener, 3-0, against Texas Southern on Friday night at the Mean Green Soccer Complex.
The Mean Green dominated the possession, keeping the ball on the Texas Southern side for most of the game. North Texas outshot the Tigers, 30-4, and held the edge in corner kicks, 15-1.
"I think we played well offensively, especially in the second half," said North Texas head coach John Hedlund. "I was able to use a lot of players off my bench. I wanted to play a lot of the freshmen tonight. And I thought our young players performed well."
Rachel Holden picked up right where she left off last year. The conference's preseason offensive player of the year scored the team's first goal of the season in the 14th minute, knocking the ball into an open net after a misplay by the Tigers' goalkeeper. Sophomore transfer Marchelle Davis helped set up the goal by playing a dangerous ball to the top of the penalty area, forcing the visiting keeper to come out of her box.
Junior Molly Grisham scored her second career goal and the team's second of the game right before half. She found the back of the net off a rebound by the Texas Southern keeper. Liliana Hernandez made a save off Tori Phillips' free kick but was unable to make the second one after the rebound found Grisham's foot.
Davis showed her composure with the team's third goal in the 63rd minute. She collected a lofted ball from Jackie Moreau at the top of the penalty box and calmly shot it past the keeper for her first goal in a Mean Green uniform.
"The goal felt amazing," said Marchelle Davis. "It's a reliever. Now I know they can all come after that."
Jackie Kerestine returned to the field after sitting out most of last season with a knee injury. She picked up the win and the shutout with her one save. On the opposite side, Hernandez made nine saves and was aggressive in coming out to defend her box.
North Texas started two freshmen in tonight's game and used 10 players from off the bench. Six of the 10 subs were freshmen.
Next up for North Texas
• North Texas returns to action on Sunday, Aug. 24 when it faces Oregon State at home at 11:00 a.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• North Texas won its season opener for the third straight year and the second straight year against Texas Southern.• North Texas is now 5-0 against Texas Southern.
• Rachel Holden scored the first goal of the season for the Mean Green. It was her 13th career goal. She scored three goals in her first collegiate game last year against Texas Southern.
• Junior Molly Grisham scored her second career goal and her first since her freshman year.
• Marchelle Davis scored her first goal in a Mean Green uniform after transferring from Texas.
• Goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine picked up her first win since recording a shutout against Houston Baptist on August 25, 2013. She recorded one save against Texas Southern tonight.