But Brielynn doesn’t merely have soccer in her blood. She’s also very good at it. As an eighth-grader, she was selected to represent the Northern California State soccer team. As a freshman, she’s earned a spot on the same team and will join 17 players in Arizona for the Olympic Development Program championships between Jan. 13 and 17.
“I’m so happy to be on the state team.” Brielynn said. “I feel proud to have accomplished one of my goals and I’m looking forward to going to Arizona to represent California and play in the Region IV ODP Championships.”
Being a part of that team gives Brielynn the opportunity to play outside California and travel with people outside her family. Despite being only a freshman, she sees the Arizona tournament as an opportunity to get watched by college scouts and coaches.
She also sees it as an opportunity to become more independent. Her achievements in soccer have made her mother, Traci, aware that her daughter isn’t dabbling in the “family sport.”
“It was what everyone did,” Traci said. “Then last year, she made the state team and traveled to regional camp in Idaho. That’s when I saw that it was more than just something she did because of her mom and dad.”
Brielynn’s passion for the sport has kept her interested and driven her to play on elite teams. “I’ve kept such a strong interest in soccer because it’s my life.” she said. “I love that I get to play every day. It just makes me happy. I’ve met some of my best friends playing soccer. I love being out on the field, being able to compete. Every season I set goals to try to improve my play.”
Traci is happy that her daughter has been raised in an era where female athletes are given such opportunities. As recently as 20 years ago, that wasn’t the case.
In addition to excelling on the field and getting noticed by potential college coaches, Brielynn hopes that earning a spot on the team will provide an example for future players.
“I hope I’m able to be a good example to players younger than me, she said. “I’ve learned that hard work really does pay off and want to encourage younger players to never back down from a challenge – on the field or off.”