The humidity and heat that only Miami can provide beats down on the 25th-ranked women’s soccer team in the nation.
This team remains unlike any other-upperclassmen and underclassmen alike contribute each game, in part led by number 13, Brittney Steinbruch.
Aside from earning the honors of NSCAA National Player of the Week, ACC Player of the Week and being selected as a member of Soccer American Women’s Team of the Week, 36 points may be added to her list of accomplishments so far this season.
“When I was younger I played softball, basketball but really just soccer,” Steinbruch said. “I played club soccer for twelve years, since I was five or six like everybody else.”
But the 5-foot 8-inch forward, who had not played the position before coming to UM because she was placed at outside midfield, is not your average freshman.
“We’re very pleased with her performance. It has exceeded what we expected as far as the amount of goals scored,” Coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “We always knew that she was going to be dangerous but I think she’s really gotten into the transition of the team and made her impact. The big thing with her is just letting her go, letting her play, letting her be creative, and I think that’s what she’s done and she’s run with it.”
A self-proclaimed bad singer and dancer, Steinbruch does not follow any superstitions, though she does tape her fingers to remind herself of things during games.
“Every game this season might be one of my favorites,” Steinbruch said. “My club team going to national championships was really exciting. This is unlike anything else I have ever experienced.”
And according to her, the competitiveness, intensity and players involved in the game are different and much harder than they were in high school.
“Boston College and UNC were amazing,” she said, adding that, “every single game is as close as you can get. Every game is like a national final.”
After deciding to major in sports administration and minor in marketing, Steinbruch appears flustered when asked if she wants to pursue a career in soccer. She admits that she wants to see how things go as a collegiate player first.
“We feel like there are certain types of players that you recruit as a coach that you know you can motivate and you can mold,” Taliaferro said “She would fit right into that. It was just automatic. It was just comfortable right when she got onto campus.”
A team as close as the Hurricanes has felt connected to Steinbruch and the rest of the freshmen since the beginning. Upperclassmen have taken leadership roles and taught the newcomers the ropes in key rival games such as Florida State and South Florida.
Her connection with the team has made the transition and time spent on the field easier-and there’s a lot of time spent on the field.
“I’m not that intriguing. Soccer, school, family. That’s it really,” she said.
With the way the girl from Wyckoff, New Jersey continues to play, the Hurricanes may find their way to post-season play and reach every one of their preseason goals.
Christina De Nicola may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.