The Mean Green's Utility Player
Freshman Brooke Lampe Has Asserted Herself To Help North Texas Win
DENTON -- Typically, crying on the day of your high school prom is not a good thing, especially before it even begins.
But Brooke Lampe couldn't hold her tears back.
As the Mansfield native and Lake Ridge High School senior was preparing for her big night, she learned she had been offered an athletic scholarship from the University of North Texas, her dream school.
Furthermore, it was the night before she was planning on committing to a different school.
"I was so happy I couldn't help it," Lampe said. "Ever since I was a freshman in high school and I came to the Mean Green soccer camp, I would email and try to get in touch with the coaches -- even though I never heard back from them."
It was that assertiveness that not only helped earn her an athletic scholarship but also led her to being one of the most important and versatile pieces to the Mean Green's 2017 Conference USA Tournament championship.
"Coach Hedlund stresses that you have to be able to play multiple positions on the field," said senior captain Tori Phillips. "Lampe was one of our first freshmen to step up and take charge, and I think the other freshmen followed her soon after, which has been huge since we're such a young team."
Lampe quickly asserted herself into the lineup in the preseason when the Mean Green were down a few bodies due to injuries.
Recruited as a goalie, Lampe was behind the more experienced Brooke Bradley and Miranda Schoening on the depth chart. But with the injuries, the team was looking for people in practice to play the field.
Without hesitation, Lampe raised her hand and confidently volunteered
Playing center back on the defense in practice, the 5-foot-10 freshman impressed the coaches so much that she not only played in the first two games of the season versus Incarnate Word and No. 17 Arkansas but she started the third game.
Not only started, but scored.
Lampe fired a strike from 35 yards away past the goalie near the back right post. The goal gave the Mean Green a commanding 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute at Abilene Christian.
"It was a relieving feeling," Lampe said.
As the season progressed and she became more comfortable on the field, the freshman moved up to midfield and eventually forward.
"When she plays out on the field she's very loose and plays free," Phillips said. "She's a good switch up for us at the forward position because she's a lot bigger than most of our forwards and it's a difficult challenge for our opponents.
"All our freshmen are," she added.
Lampe and her six fellow true freshmen, who have all seen considerable playing time this season, had a breakout match versus Indiana on Sept. 10.
In the 3-3 draw, it was one of the earliest matches that Lampe played solely at the forward position. Additionally, North Texas freshmen scored all the goals and assisted on all of them too, including Lampe whose 73rd minute score tied the game at two.
"I have never been as close with a group of women like I am with all of the freshmen on our team," Lampe said. "And I think it shows on the field."
As the season progressed, Lampe became a fixture on the Mean Green, even starting all three matches in the C-USA tournament, where she scored North Texas' first goal in the quarterfinals. But her most important contribution came in the championship match.
Tied 0-0 after 110 minutes, the Mean Green went to a penalty kick shootout against Charlotte to determine the tournament's champion.
Standing on the sideline during the intermission between overtime and the shootout, Hedlund looked at Lampe and told her to get changed into her goalie jersey. Without hesitation, the forward put on her pink goalie jersey, donned on her gloves and lined up between the posts for the first time in her collegiate career with the Mean Green's season and championship hopes on the line.
"I don't really care what position I play," Lampe said. "Whichever gets me on the field and puts me in a position to help my team win."
As if she'd been the team's goalie all year, Lampe and the Mean Green defeated the 49ers 3-1 in the shootout to win the program's 13th conference championship and their fifth in four years.
"There's no place I rather be and no other team I rather play for," Lampe said. "This is my dream school. From the team to the university, any way I can help North Texas win I'll put myself out there."