HUNTINGTON, West Virginia — The No. 24 ranked North Texas soccer team shut out its ninth opponent of the year in route to a 3-0 road victory over Marshall Sunday afternoon.
The Mean Green (10-1-2, 5-0-1) and their nationally recognized defense held the Thundering Herd to just five total shots on Marshall's home field and thus turned in one of the best offensive performances of the year.
The 3-0 win is a huge boost after the team was disappointed with its 1-1 draw performance on Friday at Western Kentucky.
"We needed to bring home a win this weekend to properly position ourselves for the rest of conference," said sophomore Brooke Lampe
. "After Friday's game we came together as a team and recollected ourselves and went over what we needed to fix for Marshall's game."
Two of North Texas' three goals on Sunday were scored on set pieces, the first coming in the 36th minute when Lampe soared way above the Marshall (5-8-2, 3-5) defenders to head in a corner kick from Madeline Guderian
. The goal broke a 0-0 tie and is Lampe's first goal of the season. The assist is Guderian's third in the last three matches.
"We all have a job on the field and one of mine is to win anything in the air so when it comes down to it I was just taking care of business," Lampe said of her incredible leap into the air to head in the goal. "After we got up on the scoreboard I knew the other goals were going to come. We are never quite satisfied with just one, the fight always stays alive."
North Texas took a 1-0 lead into the half but opened the flood gates in the second-half when another set piece led to another Mean Green goal.
UNT sophomore Logan Bruffett's
free kick into the box was deflected in the scrum of bodies and ended at the feet of fellow sophomore Berklee Peters
who was able to strike a shot into the net for her sixth goal in conference play.
North Texas' final goal came in the 81st minute when Bruffett cleared a ball near midfield to the offensive third where senior Aaliyah Nolan
chased down the ball, beat the Marshall keeper and scored her sixth goal of the year.
"Last game really motivated me to score this weekend and get my goal tally up," Nolan said who played a career-high 95 minutes on Friday at WKU and took a career-high six shots but didn't score a goal. "I didn't just want to get the goal for me but I wanted to do it for the team. We all knew that we had to win this game and we came out and executed exactly what we needed to do to come away with this W"
The nine-match unbeaten streak the team is currently on while impressive is nothing new to the program. UNT went on a 11-match unbeaten streak last season and had a nine-match unbeaten streak in 2015.
Sunday's win does mark the senior class' 58th win, which moves them into fifth-place on the program's all-time winningest senior class list. They still trail the all-time winningest senior class — the class of 2016 — by six wins. They can still beat that record of 64 wins with a deep run in the Conference USA Tournament.
Senior Taylor Torres
made her return Sunday versus Marshall after missing the last two matches. Torres, the team's active leading goal scorer and assist leader, started and played 75 minutes. She took a season-high six shots and put two on goal but couldn't find the back of the net.
Torres and fellow seniors Carissa Sanders
, Brooke Bradley
, Bailey Johnston
, Lauryn Bruffett
and Aaliyah Nolan
will play their final home matches next weekend when the Mean Green host Florida Atlantic on Friday and then FIU on Sunday for senior day.
North Texas trails just FAU in the C-USA standings, however, the Owls have played one more match. UNT will make up that match the following weekend after they host FAU.
- North Texas improves to 4-0-1 all-time versus Marshall and has outscored the Thundering Herd in their five matchups by a combined score of 10-1.
- Nolan, Torres and Peters are all now tied for the team lead in goals with six
- With the 3-0 win, North Texas improved to 276-23-7 (.916) all-time in matches where they score two or more goals in a match.