Flobeck Has Found Success With New Role On The Mean Green Soccer Team
Flobeck And The Mean Green Host Two Conference Games This Week
North Texas vs. Marshall
Thursday, Sept. 22
7 p.m. l Denton, TX
Webstream l Live Stats l Game Notes
North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech
Sunday, Sept. 25
7 p.m. l Denton, TX
Webstream l Live Stats
DENTON - With the loss of seven starters from the 2015 team, North Texas head coach John Hedlund needed more than one player to step up into a leadership role. One of those players has been senior captain Anna Flobeck.
Flobeck's role her first three years at North Texas was being a spark off the bench at forward and a key player on set pieces with her strength in the air. She saw action in 63 games her first three years, but started just eight games.
Her role in 2016 has been vastly different. She has started all 10 games and scored a point in each of the first four games of the season. She scored a goal in three of the first four games and is currently third on the team with three goals. She accomplished all of that playing a new position at defensive midfield.
"I thought she had her best game that I've ever seen her play against Rice," Hedlund said. "She was tremendous in the air, on set pieces. She's winning every ball in the middle of the field, and she dominants in the air. It's a great position for her. She came in as forward, and we transformed her into a defensive mid. This is her position."
Growing up, Flobeck played everything, not just soccer; volleyball, softball, track, cross-country. She played numerous positions with soccer as well.
"I played a little bit of everything except defense," said Flobeck. "At one point, I played club as a keeper. At other points, I played attacking midfielder. And then, played up top a lot. I sprinkled in a little midfield in there and that's why this transition has been pretty easy."
Flobeck even served as the Mean Green's backup goalkeeper for a little while as a sophomore. She has two career saves to her credit.
Her versatility and athletic ability enabled her to make a quick, successful transition to defensive mid.
"I didn't know she could play defensive midfield until we played Charlotte last year, and I needed someone to pick up one of their top players as an offensive mid coming through," Hedlund said. "I put her in there because she's still athletic enough to run down anyone and she can still dominant in the air. She did such a great job, that it stuck with me."
Flobeck played defensive midfield last spring, and the position has been hers ever since. Last year, the Mean Green mostly played with two defensive midfielders, but the 2016 team has been able to play with just Flobeck back there at times.
"We really pushed her into that defensive mid and she has played at such a high level that at times we can have her there alone and have the other two focus more on the offense," Hedlund said.
Flobeck is more than a starter. She has also grown as a leader on and off the field, and was voted one of the team's three captains.
"I knew that John likes the seniors to start, but I wanted more than just to be a starter," said Flobeck. "I wanted that captain role. I knew I had to be more of a leader on and the field. I knew I had to really improve my game on the field to achieve that role. It did take a lot more work."
Flobeck pushed herself in the spring, forcing herself out of her comfort zone. She had to talk more on the field, she had to not get down on herself and push others up when they were down. She worked hard over the summer and made her teammates work hard as well.
"All those roles helped me go out and do those extra little things, and getting the team to do it, raised my standards for myself," said Flobeck.
The hard work has paid off. Flobeck and the Mean Green are playing at a high level and started the conference season off with a big win against conference rival Rice. They are home for three games before taking to the road for three C-USA games.
"I've been really enjoying this year," said Flobeck. "It's my senior year. There is a lot of pressure on us as seniors to lead the team and push this team to be the best they can be. It's crazy going from coming off the bench to being a starter and not just a starter but a captain as well.
I feel a lot of responsibility, and I like that position and I feel it pushes me to be better, and so far it is."
Thursday is Student and Greek Night at the Mean Green soccer game. The first 100 fans get Mean Green aviator glasses.