FRISCO - Vince Lombardi, one of the icons of the NFL once famously said “It’s not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get back up.” North Texas SC has been knocked down a few times this year. But every time, they rise from the canvas and come back even stronger.
North Texas now sits atop the USL League One Table with a remarkable record, with more wins than draws and losses combined (12-5-5). But it has not been an easy season by any stretch of the imagination. For many players, this level of competition is a new experience. The fact that the team features 13 players who have scored their first professional goal makes the challenge of competing at a high level even harder.
North Texas has its fair share of embarrassing losses. In fact, three of its five losses have been by three or more goals. Some of the losses have compounding issues, like an early red card or poor field conditions, but none of this changes the fact that its only home loss was a 4-0 drubbing by Greenville, and it left an impact on the team. After another red card and another loss, it could feel like the season was spiraling out of control.
After back-to-back losses, North Texas played FC Tucson, and after an even first half they conceded in added time. A weaker team would have folded. But North Texas are made of sterner stuff. They came back stronger in the second half and were unlucky to not take all three points after a dominant 45 minutes where FC Tucson only managed one shot.
It faced another demoralizing loss on Thursday, Aug. 22 against Lansing Ignite FC who overtook first place with the win. It would be easy for Eric Quill's young team to crumble. Instead, with less than a week to prepare, North Texas rolled into Toyota Stadium and put in its best performance of the season. The 5-0 win over Tormenta FC was its biggest margin of victory in club history, as well as setting the record for the most goals scored this year. This does not even take into account that Tormenta have the best defensive record in USL League one and had only conceded more than two goals twice all season.
“That’s a good defensive team, and a good team,” Head Coach Eric Quill said after the game. “They work hard behind the ball, but we had a night where we were moving the ball very fast and we generated a lot of good actions.”
The victory came after a 4-1 loss to Lansing Ignite, something the players did not forget. “Last week didn’t go our way in Lansing,” Club Captain and center back Brecc Evans said postgame. “Being up 3-0 at halftime and knowing how good we can be really sets the precedent for the rest of the season.”
“This can give us a lot of confidence,” Quill explained. “We look for a response, and tonight, we got that response.”
With the playoffs on the horizon and the potential to clinch home field advantage in the next few weeks, North Texas will look to carry on from its best-ever performance. “Tonight was a step in the right direction, but we can still improve,” Evans said.
The game against Tormenta was the most complete and comprehensive victory of the year for North Texas SC. While it might be hard to improve on a 5-0 victory, the fact that the team believes there is still room to improve is the reason North Texas should be confident as the regular seasons winds to a close