The defending CUSA champs begin play August 12 against Oklahoma.
2016 CUSA All-Freshman team member Taylor Torres and Alexis Cable played summer soccer for the WPSL. I write that to tell you how good they are and that you should pencil their names in your Soccer notebook for later.
John Hedlund signed Katie Gernsbacher and Lauryn Buffet from Texas and Miss St in addition to eight freshman to bolster the roster. Buffet is a forward and should help replace the firepower that Karla Piñeda provided from the midfield.
Hedlund is one of the most decorated soccer coaches in the game, and built North Texas into a quiet powerhouse in the region. While regular season and conference tournament success comes frequently, the only thing missing from his trophy case is a deep NCAA tournament run.
North Texas finished ranked 37th in the nation in RPI after bowing out to Texas Tech 1-0 in the NCAA tournament.
While there are highly ranked TopDrawerSoccer players on the squad, NT doesn’t have to deal with the issues the the elitist-of-elite have. Namely, squaring national commitments with the start of the season. UCLA’s Mallory Pugh will likely redshirt her first season, and perennial powerhouse North Carolina will juggle their lineup to accommodate the players similarly.
Barring injury or catastrophe, this year’s squad should compete for the conference title again, on the strength of FW Rachel Holden’s quick feet and penchant for goals. She scored 12 last year on her way to co-offensive player of the year.
Outside of that, the loss of so much senior experience might lead to a ‘down’ year, in the squad probably aren’t favorites to win the conference. Again, this is all relative. Hedland’s teams haven’t been bad just slightly less good when they are reloading.
If you have thoughts I encourage you to leave comments below. I can’t be talking about this squad in a void y’all.