North Texas Daily

Brown credits family for passion in breakout season

Brown credits family for passion in breakout season

Brown credits family for passion in breakout season
September 16
10:00 2023

As a five-year-old, forward sophomore Summer Brown knew she wanted to be a serious athlete, but was not sure what sport she wanted to play. The passion her father had for soccer pushed her to discover her desire to play, eventually leading her to play collegiate soccer.  

Since middle school, Brown would dedicate most of her time training to her uncle, who was a key factor in building her speed today.  

“I wasn’t the best runner,” Brown said. “I [trained] through middle school and high school, and I still do it now when I go home for breaks […] My running form got better, so I think that it increased my speed. I got better throughout the years and every time I run, I think of what he told me.” 

Playing Division I sports has always been a dream of hers. After her senior season at Arlington High School, Brown saw no point in stopping her career.  

She received a partial scholarship from North Texas offering to continue her career as a student-athlete.  

“I was so excited,” Brown said. “I remember it was a day after school, I was with my mom, she picked me up from school and we were talking when I got a text, and I was like ‘oh my gosh’ we were really excited together, it was a great experience to share with my mom.” 

In her first year at North Texas, Brown played a total of 677 minutes, scored four goals, averaged 0.267 on shots on goal and had a 0.133 shooting percentage.  

Only six games into the 2023 season, she is leading the team with six goals and holds a .526 percentage on shots on goal, with a .316 shooting percentage.  

“She’s probably one of our deadliest forwards up there, to be honest […] she’s made a huge improvement from her freshman year to her sophomore year,” North Texas Head Coach John Hedlund said. “Her touch on the ball has drastically improved. She’s always had the speed and she’s always been very athletic but now for touch especially in front of the gulf or when she receives a ball with her speed, it’s right in front of her, so I think she’s really worked hard on her game in the offseason last spring and you’re starting to see signs of it for this fall.”

North Texas was the only school that offered her a scholarship to play college soccer. According to Coach Hedlund, after seeing improvements from Brown in the first couple of games of the 2023 campaign, they extended her scholarship. 

Coach Hedlund said he was pleased by how much ground she had covered and the impact she brought to the locker room.  

“[Brown] is a great kid, great character, fun to be around,” Hedlund said. “She is not the most outspoken person, but she is just genuine, she is a team player, she wants everyone to get along. She is just a great kid to have around on your team.” 

Brown explained that starting and playing spring games helped her develop her confidence. She also said being told by coaches and her father the ability she had to attack and score goals has boosted her. During the offseason, she focused on switching her mentality and being more positive about herself instead of bringing herself down.  

“I love playing with Summer,” graduate midfielder Jenna Sheely said. “I would say this year she’s definitely more confident, and I mean that’s just going to come after you have a year of college soccer under your belt. I think she realized she is kind of grown more into her strengths, she knows she’s a fast player, and using that to her advantage like blowing past players, I think she’s gotten good at that.” 

Sheely described Brown as a source of confidence for the rest of the team, often filling the locker room with positive energy.

“I try to bring a fun spirit,” Brown said. “One time, I think it was a game against ACU and me and Bailey [Wesco] taught everybody my dance, so we did it before the game in the locker room. It was just a fun spirit.” 

This season Brown hopes to double her goals from last year and gain more trust from her teammates on the field.  

“I want to be the person they can trust with the ball,” Brown said. “I’m going do what I need to do, whether that is assisting or scoring a goal. I want them to trust me with the ball and I want to be able to pass the ball as well.” 

Featured Image: Mean Green soccer player Summer Brown kicks the ball during a home game on Sep. 8, 2023. Shania Maugham

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Alexia Lopez

Alexia Lopez

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