Brown becomes a defensive mainstay in freshman year

Women’s soccer freshman from Salem, Ore. blows past expectations as first year starter and credits her success to her faith, family and friends.

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Brown becomes a defensive mainstay in freshman year

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Kyle Kohner, Writer

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Freshman defender Madyson Brown is a pivotal asset to Biola women’s soccer. The team relied heavily on Brown after Amanda Otto, top defender and captain, went down with an injury earlier in the season. Brown surpassed expectations by fortifying a ferocious defense and recently winning the Golden State Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year. The freshman’s tenacious play helped shut down opposing offenses and led them to a first place finish in the GSAC.

When first meeting Brown, a nursing major from Oregon, it is hard to visualize her as a vicious defender on the soccer field. However, after getting to know her more she is actually a kind woman of strong faith, who exudes a Christ-like character.

Although she has tempered expectations that come with being a freshman, her play on the back line defies all initial judgements. Brown is one of the most aggressive defenders in GSAC, playing center back for the Biola Women’s Soccer team.

“No one will get the ball from me, past me, nor will I give them the ball. They will not beat me,“ Brown said.  

A MATURE APPROACH

Brown credits her brother Jakob for her involvement in soccer. He was a goalkeeper, and Brown’s aggressive style is a result of when she played with him and his friends as a child. Brown’s physical play has forced opposing forwards to think twice about going past her with the ball because, according to Brown, she has “the desire to not be pushed around.” Brown knows she is the last line of defense, and relishes that opportunity of pressure.

Brown has a mature approach to the game of soccer, as she implements her faith into the game.

“Although the opponents are supposed to be enemies, they are created in the image of God,” Brown said. “Conflicts go down on the soccer field and words are said. One can choose whether to retaliate or choose to treat them as if they were made in the image of God.”  

Regarding her Christianity, Brown gives her sister, Alexa and her mother the credit for shaping her into the believer she is today. Brown grew up in a solid Christian home, but pinpoints the exact moment she became a believer.

“I was five-years-old in Sunday school, and the message that day was Jesus loves me and he died on the cross for me. I came home from church that day and asked my mom more about the message. So she led me in a prayer right then and there and that was powerful to me,” Brown said.

FINDING ROLE MODELS

Though there are many role models who shaped Brown’s faith, she found role models on the team who made her into the strong player she is now. Teammate and midfielder McKenna Marmelstein was the first of many players to reach out to Brown. Their relationship stems from Brown’s junior year of high school when she visited Biola as a prospective student athlete and Marmelstein was a sophomore. Not only does Brown look up to Marmelstein as a friend, but she also aspires toward Marmelstein’s similar aggressive style with her ability to boom headers towards the other side of the field.

Brown’s partner in crime, sophomore defender Cat Newberry, is another role model and plays to the direct left of Brown on the soccer field. Brown cites Newberry as “the rock of the team, especially on defense. Cat is the unsung hero of the team.”

“[Maddy] is amazing. She is so great. She has literally been an answered prayer back there on defense. I know she will have a really bright future,” Newberry said.

JUST A LABEL

As the season comes to an end, Brown proved to many that “freshman” was just a label. She logged in the second-most minutes behind Newberry, which shows her blue-collar work ethic.

“Madyson has done exactly what you would hope for a first year starter and then some,” said Erin Brunelle, head coach. “She has been a force on the back end, providing an edge and aggressive attitude on defense that is missed when she is not on the field.”

Brown’s mixture of faith and aggressive nature makes her one of the most exciting players to watch on the field now and for the foreseeable future.