As a sophomore, after earning the starting position in goal for the Stonehill women’s soccer team, Kaitlin Brown recorded a 1.37 goals against average with two shutouts in 16 starts.
This past fall, the Walpole High grad was the Northeast 10 Goalkeeper of the Year, and a third team all-East Regional selection in Division 2.
In her 19 starts (out of 20 possible), the 5-foot-8 junior posted a sparkling 1.26 GAA and made 102 total saves, recorded eight shutouts, and backstopped the Skyhawks to a 13-7 record (10-4 NE10) and NCAA Tournament berth.
In her rise to earning a prominent role, Brown has had a familiar face as a running mate in the backfield. Tess Erwin, now a sophomore at Stonehill, played with Brown at Walpole High and joined her this year on the all-NE-10 first team. Erwin, a defender, teamed up with Brown in her 19 starts to shut down opposing forwards.
Q: How did your play differ this season from last?
A: Last season was my first season starting so it was definitely a big learning experience. Having that season under my belt, going through spring and summer, I got a better grasp on what I needed to do in order to have a successful season in the NE10. Some of the things we needed to work on were my communication with the defense. This was the second season I was playing on the field with those defenders, so we were definitely able to communicate more, and be on the same page on a lot of things.
Q: How do you prepare for a start? Has that changed throughout your career?
It hasn’t really changed. I’m very superstitious. I tend to have the same pre-game routine and practice before we focus on the team that we’re going to be playing. I braid my hair the same way, I have a lot of little superstitions during our warmups. Everything we do is in the same way every time. It’s just getting focused, those little things get me in the mindset for the game.
Q: Does your communication change based on who’s on the field?
A: Being with the same defenders consistently helps. They know what I mean when I say certain things, and we know how each other play. We’re used to playing with each other. A lot of it is when I’m coming out to get the soccer ball, or when they need to clear it.
Q: What’s it like to have an old high school friend on the field with you?
A: We were close all throughout high school. Getting to play together here too is exciting. She’s one of my center backs. We’ve been playing together for six or seven years now, and being friends off the field for so long has definitely helped our chemistry on the field.
Q: What are your goals for next season?
A: One of my defenders is graduating and we’re definitely going to need to replace some key senior players. I’m hoping that our incoming freshmen will be able to have a successful season, and we can have a home playoff game again and make NCAAs. I hope people work hard. Communication is still something I need to work on. I just have some technical habits that in the spring and summer I’ll work hard to correct. I have one season left so I want to make the most of it.
Q: Is there a most memorable save of your career?
A: This season against St. Rose I tipped a ball over the cross bar for a key save in that game, and against Adelphi I had to make a few key saves that helped us go into overtime and then we were able to win.