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North Texas soccer advances to C-USA title game with win over FAU

North Texas soccer advances to C-USA title game with win over FAU

November 03
19:27 2017

North Texas advanced to its fourth Conference USA title with a dominant 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic University Friday afternoon.

An early goal in the 11th minute by freshman Ariel Diaz off an assist from fellow freshman Elle Marie Defrain gave the Mean Green (14-3-3) a 1-0 lead in the first half. It was Diaz third goal in her last three games and her seventh on the season.

Diaz and fellow her fellow teammates attribute the Mean Green’s offensive dominance through two games to a determined mindset focused on winning the C-USA crown.

“The team is very supportive,” Diaz said. “We definitely have the the mindset of go big or go home, and we are not ready to go home yet.”

North Texas put the pressure on the Owls (11-8-2) with 12 shots in the first half. The game was physical early on, as the Mean Green had seven fouls in the first half and 13 overall.

The teams did not face each other in the regular season but have a history in the C-USA tournament. The Owls defeated the Mean Green last season in the semifinals last year.

Freshman Brooke Lampe got her first start at right back for the Mean Green defense, after playing the defensive midfielder for most of the year. Lampe is tied for fifth on the team with four goals on the season.

Defensively, All-Conference USA sophomore Dominique James said the Mean Green held FAU scoreless because of a continued growth in communication.

“Our communication has gotten a lot better,” James said. “I think it is mostly our communication and moving together as one, we definitely figured out how to be one (unit) together.”

The Mean Green have outscored their opponents 6-1 over their last three games.

Junior goalkeeper Brooke Bradley believes the defensive dominance stems from a message head coach John Hedlund said before the day began.

“[Coach] John [Hedlund] told us before the game that on defense we need to focus on really talking to each other,” Bradley said. “Since we had someone new back there (Lampe) we needed make sure we are all talking and we are on the same page so we do not give up any stupid goals.”

Bradley finished the game with three saves for her seventh shutout of the season.

The Mean Green players were disappointed by the fact they won’t get to face the regular season champion Rice Owls in the finale but are still excited for the chance to claim another conference crown.

“It does suck because we really wanted to play Rice and show them who the actual champions are,” Bradley said. “Charlotte actually put it to them and Rice was not ready, so Charlotte will be who we are playing in the final.”

Next up: North Texas faces Charlotte in the C-USA championship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The Mean Green won the regular season matchup 2-1 on Oct. 19 in Charlotte.

Featured Image: Freshman Forward Ariel Diaz (10) runs to the ball a teammate had just headed her direction. Madison Gore

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Matthew Berger

Matthew Berger

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