Junior prepares for final non-conference tune up at Gonzaga on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.
Whitney Brannan from the Eastern Washington University soccer team has etched her name in the EWU record books once again this season -- and the junior says she isn’t done yet.
Brannan has been a force for the Eagles this season, breaking the school record in single-game scoring after earning her first-career hat trick against South Dakota State on Sept. 17 – an accomplishment that earned her Athlete of the Week honors from the Big Sky.
The Kennewick, Wash., native has now recorded seven goals in 2010 and 13 total in her career. She moved up to third on Eastern's all-time career scoring list, and is just two goals away from nabbing the record outright. Brannan leads the conference in points per game (1.56) and goals per game (0.78), and is tied for the top spot in total goals (7). In addition to her dominance within the Big Sky, Brannan also appears in the national ranks, as her goals per game average of 0.78 is tied for 24th among all Division I players.
While Brannan enjoys being in the spotlight, she attributes most of her success to her teammates and a little extra incentive from her family.
Q: You had your first-career hat trick against South Dakota State on Sept. 19, which earned you BSC Athlete of the Week honors. What were you feeling after that game?
A: “That was really cool. It was the first time I scored two times in a game, so when I scored three, I was excited. Brittany made some great passes – I couldn't have done it all on my own, without the help of my teammates.”
Q: Last week you played the 20th-ranked USC Trojans. What was the mentality like before playing a team of that caliber?
A: “We definitely thought that they were going to be a really tough team. We were very skeptical of how we were going to play. Before the game, in the locker room, we were all brainstorming what they would look like. We were picturing big husky girls, but then we got on the field and realized that they were pretty much the same size as we were. After we scored within the first two minutes, it felt surreal and I think we really picked it up. We knew we could hold our own with them, but our own mistakes got us into trouble. We're now working on things that we learned from that game -- like moving down the field as a team.”
Q: The soccer team faces Gonzaga this weekend to close out its non-conference season. What are some of the goals heading into this game?
A: “Some goals for this weekend will have to do a lot with our midfield. We need to better transition going from defense to midfield and to be able to set up scoring opportunities.”
Q: You have already scored seven goals this season? Do you have a target number of how many you want to score by the end of the year? Was this something you had envisioned prior to the season?
A: “I would love to beat that mark of 11 in one season. I am also only two goals away from beating the record for career goals, and I still have over a year left, so I have time. I really just wanted to score as many goals as possible to help my team win games. My dad did give me an incentive that if I scored the most points on the team, he would take me to Hawaii. ”
Q: What has been your most memorable moment while playing Eastern soccer?
A: “The team activities are really fun. Last year, we did a scavenger hunt and we always do a freshman skit at the beginning of the season that is quite entertaining.”
Q: Who is the opponent that you like playing the most?
A: “I really enjoy playing teams against teams we despise. Those rivalry games give me more drive to play harder. NAU and Weber State are always good contests.”
Q: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
A: “I really just eat whatever I'm feeling for that day. My mom's cheesy spaghetti is always good choice though.”