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Soccer: UNT wins semifinal

MOBLE, Ala. — North Texas got a goal from Amber Haggerty in the 23rd minute and a strong performance from its defense to snuff out repeated second-half attacks for a 1-0 win Friday over Western Kentucky in a Sun Belt tournament semifinal.

Top-seeded UNT advanced to its ninth Sun Belt final and first since 2007. The Mean Green will play either Middle Tennessee or Florida International in its last game in the conference at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The victory avenged a 2-0 loss at Western Kentucky in UNT’s regular-season finale.

North Texas (15-4-2) outshot WKU (12-5-3) 11-4 in the first half and enjoyed a 5-1 advantage in corners kicks. Haggerty got two shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, forcing a diving save, and Carly McDowell and Leah Cox each had a pair of shots on goal.

In the 23rd minute, WKU tried to play the ball back to its goalkeeper. The pass was lazy, and Haggerty cut in front of a defender, stole the ball and lifted it over the goalie for her seventh goal of the season.

Even as WKU sent an extra attacker forward in the second half, the Mean Green defense kept the Hilltoppers from threatening the UNT goal area. North Texas limited the Hilltoppers to just three long-distance shots in the second half.

UNT outshot WKU 15-7 for the match.

Sunday’s tourney final can be seen at