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College roundup: Mean Green continues surge with 3-1 victory

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The North Texas offense entered the weekend ranked among the nation’s top 10 in scoring and proved its prowess again Friday in a 3-1 victory at Middle Tennessee.

The Mean Green (11-5-1, 5-2-1 Conference USA) received goals from Lynda Hercules, Kelsey Hodges and Amber Haggerty to earn three points in the hotly contested West Division race. UNT has scored at least three goals in four straight games in outscoring those squads 14-4.

“Middle Tennessee is a good team, and there has always been a great rivalry between these two programs,” North Texas coach John Hedlund said. “They made us work for everything tonight, and I'm just glad we got the win.”

With the victory over the Blue Raiders (5-7-4, 2-4-2), North Texas owns second place in the West by three points with two regular-season games to play. First-place Colorado College clinched at least a share of the regular-season C-USA crown with an overtime win over Louisiana Tech.

The top five teams in each division earn a trip to the C-USA tournament in Houston, and the top three earn byes into the quarterfinals.

The Mean Green will play at UAB for the first time at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Texas A&M-Commerce 2, TWU 0

Visiting Texas A&M-Commerce scored a goal in each half en route to a 2-0 victory over TWU.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute when Vicky Back dribbled the ball from midfield and found Jade Bell at the top of the box. Bell kicked it into the left corner for her fourth goal.

In the 88th minute, A&M-Commerce leading scorer Savannah Henderson scored unassisted for her seventh goal.

The Pioneers had two chances to get on the board, but both were saved by the Lion goalie.

“We didn’t play with any energy in the first half,” TWU coach Babak Abouzar said. “We played better in the second half, but Commerce took less chances with the lead. It was great soccer to watch in the second half. I don’t have a problem with their second goal because we had everyone up trying to score.”

A&M-Commerce outshot the Pioneers 12- 2, including 8-2 in shots on goal. The Lions had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.

“We did not have lot of shots in the game, but we dictated the play in the second half,” Abouzar said. “If we continue to play this way, the shots will come.”

TWU goalie Ariana Morrison made six saves.

The Pioneers (4-10-2, 1-6-1 Lone Star) will host Eastern New Mexico at 8 p.m. Friday.