North Texas Daily

Soccer aims to liven up their quietly effective offense

Soccer aims to liven up their quietly effective offense

Soccer aims to liven up their quietly effective offense
September 26
10:46 2019

Numbers show that North Texas’ soccer team has an offense that could be better than it appears. The consistent source of offense for North Texas has been junior forward Berklee Peters who recently set a new single-season career-high in goals (7). Her seven goals are currently the team-high with junior midfielder Logan Bruffett second in line with three.

“It’s not shocking,” freshman forward Mackenzie Stricklin said. “She’s a great player and we’re really happy for her.”

North Texas is currently ranked ninth in the nation with 81 shots on goal this season (8.89 per game). For North Texas goals have been hard to come by since scoring 14 of their 20 goals in the first three games of the season. After finishing their ninth game of the season the Mean Green have seen a shortage of points in the net. Nevertheless, Peters likes the looks the team has been getting and said it’s more pivotal to have a high number of shots on goal even if they aren’t hitting pay dirt.

“I feel like as we keep getting those shots and they’re actually going on goal, someone can always get that follow up,” Peters said.

After the Mean Green began the season with 14 goals in three games, they suffered their first two losses at the hands of Texas Tech (4-0) and No. 15 Memphis (1-0), who both have an 8-1 record on the year. In those losses, North Texas was held to two shots on goal in both games.

In North Texas’ last four games, they now accumulated 92 shot attempts (35 0n goal) for a total of six goals. They obtained less than half of those attempts in their 1-0 win against Grambling State with 40 shot attempts.

“Obviously we’d like to pick up the goals when you look at the stat sheet because it falls off a little bit,” head coach John Hedlund said. “But then again, a lot of teams that play us are playing very defensive. They’re taking away the middle and getting several players back in front of their goal like [Old Dominion].”

With that being said, Peters has been leaned on recently for North Texas’ source of offense as she’s scored four of their last six goals. Hedlund stressed the fact that the Mean Green need to have another source of offense aside from Peters

“I would like to see a couple more players get two, three, four, five in that [goal] number and start to really challenge [Peters] on the goals,” Hedlund said. “Whoever we put on offense we’re looking at how many shots they’re getting, how many of those shots are on goal and [if] they are a threat. We’re trying to get a little bit more production with the goals.”

Stricklin, who has played in all nine games and has one start, has primarily served as a bench role this season with one goal this year. Hedlund views her as one of the many players that could step up to be another source of offense alongside Peters.

“[Stricklin’s] got one of the strongest shots on this team,” Hedlund said. “We see it in practice, we see it in games, she’s got tremendous speed and she can go to goal. She’s a freshman so she’s going through some growing pains and she’s seeing the speed of the game. She’s going to be a really good player for us down the road, but we want her to be that impact player now.”

After starting off conference play 1-0, North Texas will look to spread the goal count around like it did in its first three games — where eight players were responsible for the first 14 goals.

“It would help somebody like [Peters] because eventually, teams are going to start double-teaming her and that’s where somebody else is going to have to step up,” Hedlund said.

Featured ImageFreshmen forward, Mackenzie Stricklin, looks for an open teammate during the Mean green’s game against Old Dominion on Sept. 20, 2019 Image by Zach Thomas

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Matt Suarez

Matt Suarez

Sports Editor

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