Hedlund Completes Signing Class With Two Power Five Transfers

Katie Gernsbacher (left) and Lauryn Bruffett (right) join the Mean Green for the 2016 season. (Photos courtesy of Texas Athletics and Mississippi State athletics)
May 31, 2016

DENTON - Fresh off a Conference USA regular season title and conference tournament championship, North Texas head coach John Hedlund strengthened the Mean Green soccer roster with two transfer signees from Power Five schools.

Katie Gernsbacher, an offensive midfielder out of Austin, Texas, is a junior transfer from University of Texas, while Lauryn Bruffett, a forward from Rockwall, Texas, is a sophomore transfer from Mississippi State.

Both student-athletes will be immediately eligible for the Mean Green, which already boasts an offense that includes Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Year Rachel Holden and C-USA All-Freshman Team honoree Taylor Torres.

"We're excited to have Katie and Lauryn join the Mean Green family," said Hedlund. "They both understand the soccer tradition here at North Texas and the bar we have raised for contending for championships every year. Katie and Lauryn bring a great deal of experience learning under top collegiate coaching staffs and playing in two of the elite soccer conferences in the country. Both players should make an immediate impact this fall and play a major role for us on defending our conference titles from last season."

Katie Gernsbacher • 5-3 • Jr. • MF • Austin, Texas (McCallum HS) • Texas
Gernsbacher played for the Longhorns during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. She played in 16 games as a freshman and recorded one assist. She played alongside Marchelle Davis, a current member of the Mean Green soccer team.

Gernsbacher saw action in nine games as a sophomore and dished out one assist. Gernsbacher played club soccer with Lonestar 95G, which squad played in the 2010 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championship after the winning the South Texas tournament title. She was selected to play in the March 2012 Elite Clubs National League/id2 Player Development Program and was invited to the U.S. Soccer Training Center in January 2012.

Gernsbacher was named to the 2010 South Texas Olympic Development Program squad. Gernsbacher was a four-year starter at McCallum High School. She was named the 2012 District 52-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player after scoring 28 goals and recording 16 assists during her senior season. She was also a first-team all-district honoree as a junior after helping McCallum to the District 52-4A championship.

Lauryn Bruffett • 5-9 • So. • F • Rockwall, Texas (Community HS) • Mississippi State
Bruffett scored three goals in her freshman campaign at Mississippi State. She tied for third on the team in goals and fourth with seven points. She started 14 of 17 games in 2015.

TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked Bruffett the No. 7 prospect in the region and 88th nationally as a youth player. She was a four-star prospect by the website. She played club for the D'Feeters Soccer Club, and led the U16, U17 and U18 teams in scoring and assists. The U17 squad was ranked in the top three in the region. She played in the national tournament with the D'Feeters, and was a 2014 and 2015 Portland Nike National Camp participant.

Bruffett earned letters in soccer, basketball and track in high school. She attended Plano East High School as a freshman and scored 18 goals and assisted on 12. She was named District 6-6A Freshman of the Year and first-team all-district. At Community High School, she was a 4x400 regional qualifier on the track and was the offensive MVP for basketball her junior year. As a sophomore, she was named offensive MVP and Newcomer of the Year in her district for basketball.

Gernsbacher will have two years of playing eligibility for the Mean Green, while Bruffett will have three. The two transfers join eight other newcomers that will join the Mean Green for the fall of 2016.

In three years as a member in C-USA, the North Texas women's soccer program has won three conference championships and will look to defend both the regular season title and tournament title this fall.

Click here to read about the February signing class



North Texas Mean Green