E.A. Sports Today

Mean Green Teen

Lady Yellow Jackets keeper Schoening signs with North Texas

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Miranda Schoening didn’t know a whole lot about the University of North Texas when this whole recruiting process began. Now, much to her delight, it’s everywhere she looks.

On the front of her truck, the rear window, the trailer-hitch cover. Even the shorts she wears to Oxford soccer practice carries the team’s logo.

Schoening has been Mean Green through and through for a long time, but she made it official Wednesday when she signed with the school to continue her soccer career.

“Actually, lime green is my favorite color,” she said, sitting on the truck tailgate in the parking lot before a recent Yellow Jackets’ practice.

The senior keeper is the first female soccer player from Oxford to sign a Division I scholarship. While she signed the official papers Wednesday, the first day of the sport’s national signing period, she will have her signing party in the school’s Sports Arena Feb. 10.

Schoening has been committed to the Mean Green for a long time. She knew that’s where she was headed while she played last season. Not even being stuck in a three-hour traffic jam in the Metroplex during her campus visit could convince her otherwise.

“I really wasn’t considering them at first,” she said. “They were e-mailing me and my mom was like you should go out there and at least look at it. I’d never heard of North Texas, but as soon as I got to the campus I was like wow this is really pretty – probably the prettiest one I’ve been to — and it’s a lot bigger than I thought it was.

“There was something about their campus, I loved it. I don’t know why.”

Before falling for North Texas, she probably was headed north to play; somewhere it wasn’t so hot. She had offers from Iona, Alabama, Jacksonville State and some Division II schools and probably would be going to West Point if the Cadets didn’t already have six keepers on the roster. The Mean Green will have two sophomore keepers when she arrives.

“They brought me in looking to start as a freshman; hopefully, I can keep that up and be able to do that,” she said.

Her signing takes a lot of pressure off a pressure-packed position. Now, the 6-foot-1 shot-blocker can play her senior season without worrying about the recruiting process and the decision and just concentrate on helping the Lady Jackets make a run at the state title.

She’s hoping her signing inspires more than just her teammates.

“Soccer doesn’t really have a name for itself, especially in Oxford,” Schoening said. “I’m hoping that my signing will bring more attention to soccer. I’m hoping people will go home and tell their parents about it and maybe we can get more kids out here. Or maybe it’ll be advertised a little bit more (so) we can get more quality players out here and start building young and playing club. That’s really my hope, that it does something for the program.”

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