Transfer goalkeeper shines in her first season at North Texas

Transfer goalkeeper shines in her first season at North Texas

Transfer goalkeeper shines in her first season at North Texas
February 08
14:21 2019

The North Texas women’s soccer team won their fifth straight Conference USA championship, their 15th in school history. North Texas currently has a 35-6 scoring margin with one game remaining in the regular season.

Goalkeeper Kelsey Brann currently has the second lowest amount of goals allowed in C-USA, the lowest being three from a Louisiana Tech goalie who has played seven fewer games.  She leads C-USA with a .404 lead over second place.

“You have to be fearless because a lot of people are afraid to get hit in the face with the ball and when you’re goalkeeper it’s just what happens, so it’s whatever,” Brann said. “You also have to be fearless in the sense of not being afraid to take criticism because obviously if your team wins its ‘oh the forwards are so good they scored these goals, we won the game’ but when you lose they tend to look at the goalie because its normally the most criticized positions.” 

Before Brann’s collegiate career, she started playing soccer at the age of five. She played as a forward until switching to goalkeeper at the age of 12 after one of her coaches recognized her ability to goal tend. 

Brann later attended Atascocita High School, accumulating a decorated soccer resume. The Humble, Texas native began as a first-team all-state goalkeeper selection as a freshman, earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore after playing six matches due to injury and was a second-team honoree as a senior.

Brann was chosen as the District Goalkeeper of the Year during her freshman campaign. Later, she played with several soccer associations such as the United States Soccer Federation National Team and was a US Training Center invitee from 2011-2014. Brann earned first team all-district honors twice and was a member of the Mexican Women’s National Team from 2014-2017. 

“When it comes to inspiration for sports and wanting to play for another person, I would have to say my old coaches, they definitely are more of an inspiration to me than any big-time player,” Brann said. “Although if I had to pick a player I’d definitely say [Guillermo] “Memo” Ochoa, he’s pretty badass.” 

Brann would then commit to playing collegiate soccer at Tulsa but received offers from schools like Louisiana State, Baylor and Houston. During her time with Tulsa, she suffered a concussion and endured medical hardships. Brann would then transfer as a redshirt freshman to North Texas to be closer to home. 

“I really liked the winning attitude when I came here and I liked how John [Hedlund] straight up told me he wasn’t afraid to put the best player out there and that whoever is the best is going to be on the field,” Brann said. “I really liked the comradely between the girls, it was something that I could tell when I first came on my official visit.” 

North Texas found that Brann’s skill sets have brought a lot to the table, recording four straight shutouts from Sept. 7 – Oct. 5. Brann was named C-USA Keeper of the Week on Aug. 20, after facing thirty-one shots over two matches and allowing only a single goal.

“[Kelsey’s success at goalie] means a lot actually, especially for this past weekend against Rice and UAB,” North Texas forward Taylor Torres said. “She saved our butts, and in the Rice game it took us a while to get a goal, but we finally got it from Berklee [Peters], and it really helped to have Kelsey there.” 

Brann will look to continue her campaign as the most dominant goalkeeper in C-USA as her and the Mean Green look forward to yet another successful year under head coach John Hedlund. 

“I love her maturity level, but she’s highly competitive and you can see that those talents in the goal and her presence reminds me a lot of Jackie Kerestine,” Hedlund said. “She’s very focused and in on the game, she’s always organizing the defense, the wall, as well as the defensive corners.”

Featured Image: North Texas freshman Kelsey Brann prepares to kick the ball in a game against Southeastern Louisiana University on Aug. 24, 2018  File. 

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Matthew Suarez

Matthew Suarez

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