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North Texas soccer enjoys early season success in new home stadium

North Texas soccer enjoys early season success in new home stadium

North Texas soccer enjoys early season success in new home stadium
August 26
14:12 2019

The North Texas soccer team (2-0, Conference USA 0-0) secured their second win of the season and defended their home turf against Texas Southern (0-2, 0-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) with a final score of 5-0. At the conclusion of the match, five separate players scored for the Mean Green.

“It’s a good win and it’s a good weekend in the new stadium,” junior midfielder Logan Bruffett said. “We got a lot of different people scoring. It’s a good feeling.” 

Within the first five minutes of the opening kickoff, Bruffett scored the first goal of the match off an assist from redshirt junior Brittny Lawson. Texas Southern spent the majority of the first half on their own side of field defending against North Texas.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, freshman defender Taylor Hunter scored a second goal for the Mean Green. It took more than three minutes for freshman forward Mackenzie Stricklin to strike another goal, concluding the first half.

The second half found Texas Southern not attempting any shots once more. Junior forward Berklee Peters scored 10 minutes into the second half with the assist granted to junior midfielder Brooke Lampe. Peters currently leads the team with most goals (3) and shots (5). The last goal of the game was made with less than three minutes left in the match, by freshman midfielder Michelle Gonzalez off an assist from junior defender Ansley Bunger. 

Mean Green junior Brooke Lampe and a TSU player both jump to attempt a header during their game on August 25. Image by Grace Davis

Bruffet attributed their success to having a high level of confidence that comes with playing in their new soccer stadium.

“[North Texas] definitely plays with a lot of pride,” Bruffett said. “We’re not a team that gets scored on often but especially playing on our home field. We’ve been undefeated at home in conference games for eight plus years. We take this very seriously. We have a lot of pride at home.”

North Texas attempted 32 shots throughout the match in comparison to Texas Southern’s 0. This is the second consecutive game the Mean Green have held an opposing team to zero shot attempts.

When asked if redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Brann gets bored during games where there are no shot attempts made towards her, Bruffett let out a laugh.

“I think it’s bittersweet,” Bruffett said. “It kinda sucks but at the same time if we’re successful and scoring, I think she’s happy.”

Hunter, who hails from Denton, enjoys playing in her hometown. The stadium is an added bonus, according to Hunter.

“I’m a homebody so I really enjoy it,” Hunter said. “A big part for me is my family coming out and being able to support my games. They told me that they were getting this new stadium and I couldn’t wait to play in it for the first time.”

Upon arriving to North Texas, Hunter said she was eager to compete in the new soccer stadium. She also admitted that despite having two goals in two matches under her belt, she is still competing for the starting center-back position.

“I’m competing against four other girls for a center back positon. I’ve just got to go out there and do my thing and hopefully [head coach John Hedlund] notices me and I’ll show that I can play at this level,” Hunter said.

Despite the Mean Green shutting out Texas Southern from attempting a shot and scoring five goals, Gonzalez felt like they could have done better. North Texas is focused on winning their sixth consecutive conference championship and these first games serve as a test for Hedlund and the team, according to Gonzalez.

“I think we didn’t do as good as we wanted to but we got the result we wanted,” Gonzalez said. “I think he’s a great caoch, he wants whats best for us and wants to win another championship. [Hedlund] pushes us and we’re going for that sixth championship, we’re ready.”

Featured Image: Freshman forward Mackenzie Stricklin attempts to kick a goal. Stricklin made one of five goals over Texas Southern University during their game on August 25. Image by Grace Davis

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Matthew Suarez

Matthew Suarez

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