North Texas Daily

From camp to Conference USA: Brown finds confidence at North Texas

From camp to Conference USA: Brown finds confidence at North Texas

From camp to Conference USA: Brown finds confidence at North Texas
October 21
12:00 2022

Freshman forward Summer Brown played on  UNT’s soccer field long before her time at North Texas officially began.

In July 2021, Brown attended a soccer camp hosted by the Mean Green. During the first part of the camp, Brown was working out in assistant coach Dylan Burnett’s group when head coach John Hedlund approached her.

As the camp continued, a scrimmage period began where Brown got more attention from the coaching staff and graduate forward Olivia Klein, who served as a camp leader. Brown talked to Hedlund after the camp and continued to stay in touch with assistant coach Alexsis Cable throughout the year.

“I came back for a game and they talked about offering me [a scholarship],” Brown said. “I committed here maybe a week or two later.”

North Texas was the only school to send Brown an offer. She attended Arlington High School, where she earned All-district first team honors in 2021 and the title of District MVP that same year. Soccer has played a big role in Brown’s life since her dad pulled her from gymnastics at 5-years-old. Her older brother and two younger siblings also played soccer with encouragement from her father.

“He just loves soccer,” Brown said. “So, he’ll just put on the game while he’s cooking and just watch the game. You’ll hear him screaming.”

More than anything, Brown appreciated how soccer helped her make friends. Brown said this was especially the case during her first year at Arlington.

“When you play a sport, it is easy to make friends,” Brown said. “So, it was nice [starting high school] having friends already because we already connected over the summer.”

Brown said the decision to come to North Texas was easy because of the proximity to her family. But, like most first-year students, she heard horror stories about roommates. However, her roommate turned out to be teammate and freshman forward Kat Burnell – an unplanned coincidence.

“I cannot think of a better roommate,” Burnell said. “It is so funny because when I first got here, I did not know who my roommate was — I was like, ‘Mom, […] I hope they don’t put me with someone crazy and dirty,’ but she is like the most ideal roommate ever.”

Before Brown moved into her dorm, she started her first game as a collegiate player in a victory over Abilene Christian University. Now, after 15 games, Brown leads freshmen — excluding freshman goalkeeper Dani Jacobson — with 554 minutes played. She has three goals with a shot on-goal percentage of .304 and two starts under her belt. Her current role is coming off the bench with the second team behind Klein, who first saw Brown in the 2021 summer camp.

“For a freshman, I think it is important for them to have a high confidence level because you are playing against older girls,” Klein said. “I had a chance to work with [Brown] over the summer camp and she was a goal scorer. She is a hard worker [and] she’s confident.”

North Texas has eight freshmen on the team this season compared to four last year. Klein is the only graduate player on the roster.

“[The freshmen] bring a lot of humor to the team,” Burnell said. “It [can] sometimes get really uptight — outside of school and outside of practice, [but] we’re just really laid back, always laughing and making people laugh.”

Brown scored her third goal of the season in a 3-1 victory over Florida International University on Oct. 13. The assist came from her roommate Burnell who brought the ball up the pitch and found Brown open on the right side of the field for the score.

“I lucked out and I got a great roommate,” Brown said. “We mesh really well together, and we created a bond that can transfer over to the field.”

Featured Image: North Texas freshman forward Summer Brown poses before practice on Oct. 11, 2022. Photo by Kyndall Keaton

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Paul Witwer

Paul Witwer

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