North Texas Daily

Soccer adds two transfers aiming to continue Conference USA dominance

Soccer adds two transfers aiming to continue Conference USA dominance

February 14
15:11 2018

Matthew Berger | Staff Writer

The soccer team added two transfers to its program in January, freshmen Kelsey Brann and Ansley Bunger. They join the Mean Green program with hopes of helping the team win its fifth straight Conference USA title in the 2018 fall season.

Bunger plays forward and is transferring from the University of Arkansas, after just one season with the Razorbacks. Meanwhile, Brann is a young but experienced goalkeeper, transferring in from the University of Tulsa.

Bunger is a native of Keller and is the all-time leading goal scorer for Byron Nelson High School. While playing for Arkansas, she faced the Mean Green in their match this past season, coming off the bench and recording a shot on goal in the Razorbacks 2-0 victory. She was highly recruited out of high school, as she was nominated to the All-State First Team and was named District 5-6A MVP her senior year.

She was also recruited by the Mean Green out of high school, so when it was time to leave the Razorback program, she knew exactly where to begin her search.

“At Arkansas, it just really did not work out,” Bunger said. “I had a list of things I really wanted, and basically UNT checked off everything that I wanted.”

Prior to joining the Hurricanes of Tulsa, Brann played as a goalkeeper internationally in the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Amman, Jordan for Mexico where her team made the quarterfinals.

Before her appearance in the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, Brann was also a member of the Mexican team that finished third in the 2016 Tournament of Gradisca in Gradisca d’Isonzo, Italy. She also won a silver medal in the 2016 CONCACAF U17 World Cup Qualifier in St. Georges, Granada, and a bronze medal in the 2014 IOW Youth Summer Olympics in Nanjing, China.

Both players give head coach John Hedlund new skill sets and add to his beloved depth.

One of the new unique attributes is the fact that Bunger is left footed. Putting a left-footed offensive player in a right-foot dominated offense could throw a new wrinkle into the Mean Green’s game plans next season.

“I think I can help the team with my size, with headers and being left footed,” Bunger said. “I know this team does not have many lefties on it.”

Bunger’s scoring ability will add even more offensive firepower to a team that ranked No. 14 in the nation scoring with 2.23 goals per game this past season. Bunger will join a sophomore class that scored 18 of the Mean Green’s 49 goals last season.

Sophomore defender Brooke Lampe knew Bunger because they played on the same club team in their high school years. With her size and skill, Lampe knows what kind of offensive weapon Bunger will be for the Mean Green next season.

For Lampe, though, it is first about making her new teammates feel welcomed to the program which will help build a winning mindset in the fall.

“We showed them our freshman duties that we did last year and showed them the ropes around the program,” Lampe said. “We tried to show them our team camaraderie and make them feel comfortable being a part of our team.”

Brann will likely begin in a backup role going into the season, as junior Brooke Bradley or sophomore Miranda Schoening will probably be in between the posts to start next season. For Bradley, this is a good way to show her new teammate what is expected from her from a team that is looking forward to making the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.

“I am going to help her with everything that I was taught, like keep moving my feet and communication,” Bradley said. “We are going to teach them that this is a team atmosphere, and whether you are the person starting or not, always cheer for your teammates and encouraging everyone else on the team.”

Brann received a medical redshirt while at Tulsa, giving her four more years of eligibility.

With her experience, both in the US and in international play, Brann is aware of her strengths and weaknesses and what she can do to help the Mean Green in the fall if her number is called.

“I have a lot of international experience, and I am confident in my leadership abilities on the field,” Brann said. “I am pretty confident communicating with the defense and making a save when I need to.”

Featured image: The women’s soccer team celebrates around senior forward Cat Sebazco during a game against Rice University. Sebazco scored the Mean Green’s only goal of the night, tying the game 1-1. Rachel Walters

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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