Mean Green avenge loss to UTSA with dominant home win

Mean Green avenge loss to UTSA with dominant home win

Mean Green avenge loss to UTSA with dominant home win
October 08
16:19 2017

As the Mean Green soccer team came onto the field about five minutes prior to the second half kickoff, the 2010 song “Like a G6” started playing from the speakers. With a 4-0 lead in front of a home crowd, the once serious huddle for North Texas turned into a dance party led by sophomore defender Brittnye Lawson and senior midfielder Tori Phillips.

The Mean Green were in control throughout the match as they defeated the University of Texas at San Antonio 4-0 Sunday afternoon at the North Texas soccer complex.

With the win, the Mean Green avenged their only regular season Conference USA loss last season.

“We knew we couldn’t just beat them, we had to really beat them because of last year,” junior midfielder Lauryn Bruffett said. “It was good, we were really hungry coming in.”

North Texas’ hunger was on full display early and often as they scored all four goals in the first half. Three of those scores occured in the first 28 minutes.

Junior forward Aaliyah Nolan played as the sole striker and scored early by beating three UTSA defenders on her way to beating the keeper. Bruffett found the back of the net on two occasions and sophomore forward Natalie Newell finished a rebounded shot from a few yards out for the third goal.

“We wanted to apply a lot of pressure on them,” head coach John Hedlund said. “Their keeper and back line are kind of young and we wanted to go at them. The early goals help us so much because it helps our defense relax then we have so many players who can come off the bench for us.”

The bench proved to be too much for the Roadrunners as 11 of the 23 Mean Green shots came from players off the bench. Of 24 players, 16 played at least 30 minutes and 23 played over 7 minutes.

The midfield of the Mean Green physically imposed themselves on the Roadrunners by winning numerous fifty-fifty balls and contested headers. They also were able to pick apart the UTSA defense once the Roadrunners started pressing.

“We stayed very organized this game,” Bruffett said. “We stayed more central. We moved more as a whole unit. We definitely won a lot in the air and that helped keep them in their end.”

The Mean Green defense held the Roadrunners to four shots on goal in the match and only one in the second half.

North Texas out shot UTSA 23-12 and accumulated seven corners in the match.

“We used our speed a lot on the outside and found through balls,” Newell said. “We were able to get our crosses off from the outside which created a lot of opportunities and that’s how we scored some of our goals.”

The Mean Green currently sit in second place in the conference, trailing Rice University, and have an important match on Friday against the University of Alabama at Birmingham to end their three-game homestand.

After taking care of UTSA on Sunday, the team’s attention has already shifted towards UAB.

“We’re looking at the UAB [match],” Hedlund said. “We told them, ‘let’s go 3-0 at home’ and we’re 2-0 right now. [Now] our winning seasons record is at 23, now let’s go win a championship.”

Featured Image: Junior Forwards Taylor Torres (8) and Aaliyah Nolan (11) smile after a play against UTSA. Madison Gore

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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