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Soccer frustrated with the outcomes of overtime

Soccer frustrated with the outcomes of overtime

Soccer frustrated with the outcomes of overtime
October 08
13:00 2021

Soccer team captain and forward Olivia Klein knew that going into last Sunday’s game against the University of Texas-San Antonio, the team would get UTSA’s (6-4-1) best performance. After all, North Texas is the “winning team” in the conference with eight championships, which head coach John Hedlund reiterates in his speeches before every game.

The back-and-forth affair against UTSA went into overtime tied at 0-0. Overtime was a familiar place for the soccer team, this being their 5th overtime game so far this season. North Texas outshot UTSA 10 to seven in regulation, while graduate student and keeper Sarah Fuller had four saves in the second half. However, In the 94th-minute, graduate student and team captain Brooke Lampe gave up a crucial foul, giving UTSA a penalty kick ending the game with a 0-1 score.

The soccer team is winless in their five overtime games played this season. They tied three games against the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, the University of Oklahoma and Southern Mississippi University. They lost the other two overtime games to Florida Atlantic University and most recently, UTSA, which are both in Conference USA. The most recent loss leaves the team with a C-USA record of 1-2-1 and an overall record of 6-3-3, which puts them at fourth in the western division of C-USA.

Lampe knows that each team will give North Texas their best shot regardless of where they currently rank.

“Everyone wants to beat us,” Lampe said. “We always have to remember that people expect us to be like champions, and we’ve got to play like we are. We’ve got to remember that games aren’t just given to us, and everyone’s going to play their absolute best against us, but we also got to play our best against them and put teams out early.”

Every team giving North Texas their best shot leads to different outcomes, and some of the ties and losses stick with the players more than others.

“I would say OU [sticks out] just because I feel we definitely had it in the bag, and it would’ve been a really big win for us,” Lampe said. “I think Southern Miss was another one that pissed me off just because we outshot them ridiculously, and it was obvious we were the better team, and I wish we would’ve been able to show that in the score.”

In the game against USM, North Texas had 13 shots on goal, which was more than twice the total amount of shots USM had for the whole game. The soccer team also had 12 corner kick opportunities and forced USM’s keeper to make 13 saves. The result was a 0-0 tie.

The loss to FAU in overtime is one game the team could point to as an outlier game. They were outshot 17 to seven and statistically were the inferior team, but senior forward Connor Barker does not think that was the case.

“I still think that we played well against FAU,” Barker said. “I think it was just an unlucky game, and we were away, and just sometimes that happens. I don’t look at it as an outlier game.”

However, there are trends that the soccer team noticed between the five overtime games that Lampe pointed out.

“It looks like a lot of teams are waiting for a certain opportunity,” Lampe said. “Whether, you know, it’s bad defending and they get a PK [penalty kick], and that’s the only way [UTSA] were going to win that game, and that’s on me, you know I gave that one up. It’s like teams are waiting for that slight slip-up from us, and that’s what they’re trying to attack on, so they’re going to pack the box and just wait for that one little foul or opportunity.”

Klein mentioned how a simple change in mindset and a sharpened focus on teamwork could help the team overcome their overtime struggles.

“You know, just coming together to really just do what we can to put the ball in the back of the net,” Klein said. “And that goes from defense all the way to offense. Really focusing on offensive players finishing their chances.”

The soccer team has an opportunity for a get-right game against Florida International University on Friday in Denton. Barker looks forward to the spark a win could provide this team in the future.

“I think everybody is ready to play FIU,” Barker said. “just because it’s going to be home [and] we’ve got a lot of people coming and we always seem to take care of business at home, so I think we’re definitely going to get back on track with this game.”

Featured Image: North Texas midfielder Devyn Flannery (19) runs towards the sideline in a game against the University of Southern Mississippi at the Mean Green Soccer and Track & Field Stadium in Denton on Sept. 24, 2021. Photo by Zach Del Bello

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Paul Witwer

Paul Witwer

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