Mean Green Win C-USA Quarterfinal Match Behind Torres' Hat Trick
North Texas Beats Middle Tennessee 4-1
Nov. 1, 2017
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- On a day that began with top-seeded Rice being upset, the No. 2-seed North Texas soccer team showed why they ended the year as the conference's top offense.
Playing in their opening round match, the Mean Green blew past No. 7-seed Middle Tennessee 4-1 in the Conference USA quarterfinals behind junior Taylor Torres' first career hat trick.
"Scoring a hat trick felt amazing," Torres said. "There's always a first time for everything. I'm so happy to have scored a hat trick for my team in this important game and move on to the semifinals."
The Mean Green (13-3-3) offense got started with freshman Brooke Lampe getting a shot past the Middle Tennessee goalie (8-10) from inside the box at the two-minute mark. The early goal set the tone for North Texas.
The Mean Green put constant pressure on the young Blue Raiders who entered Wednesday giving up nearly two goals per match.
Torres found herself in a position to score throughout. The forward who didn't start took a season-high seven shots and put five on goal. She now leads the team with eight goals on the year. She is just the third C-USA player to score a hat trick in the conference tournament and the first since 2007.
"A strong team like us can make amazing things happen on the field," Torres said.
It wasn't only North Texas' offense though.
The conference's top defense held Middle Tennessee's Peyton DePriest in check for most of the match. North Texas bodied the 2017 C-USA Freshman of the Year at every touch.
"The game plan for her was simple," said senior captain Tori Phillips. "Lock her down."
DePriest, who came into Wednesday's match in a tie for the most goals in the country by a freshman played the entire 90 minutes and took three shots.
North Texas will play their semifinal match on Friday at 12:30 ct. They will play No. 6-seed Florida Atlantic who upset No. 3 UAB in their Wednesday night match.
"We have the momentum," Phillips said.