Mean Green Confident Heading To Conference USA Tournament
North Texas Opens Against Middle Tennessee Wednesday
DENTON - After falling just shy of a regular-season Conference USA title, the Mean Green soccer team heads to Boca Raton, Fla., this week to begin the conference tournament with another chance to add some more hardware to its decorated trophy case.
UNT (12-3-3, 7-1-2) is the No. 2 seed in the tournament behind regular-season champion Rice and opens play Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., against No. 7 Middle Tennessee (8-9, 5-5). The winner would face the UAB-Florida Atlantic winner in a semifinal match on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
Senior defender and team captain Tori Phillips (Forney) was a member of the team in 2015, when North Texas won the most recent of its four conference tournament championships.
Phillips said despite falling short of a fourth-consecutive regular-season championship, her team views itself as the favorite to leave Florida on Sunday with a title.
"We're going in with the mindset that we're not leaving without a ring," Phillips said. "We don't feel like the underdog either. We feel like we can go in there and take first place. Our team knows what it takes. Most of us were here when we won the tournament in 2015, when we won it all [regular-season and tournament championships]. We want it bad."
The Mean Green have not faced Middle Tennessee or FAU (10-7-2, 5-4-1) this year, but hosted UAB (13-3-3, 7-2-1) on Oct. 13, and won 1-0.
"We know we have what it takes to win it and everyone is ready to do their part," sophomore Madeline Guderian (Coppell) said. "We are all disappointed that we didn't win the regular season this year, but that disappointment lit a fire under us. Heading into the tournament, we are all excited, focused and determined to win. We've been putting in work all season, and we're not done yet."