From the Pee-Wee soccer days to now San Dieguito Academy soccer team captain, it’s safe to say that for senior Brownyn Eyre, soccer has been an integral part of her life. Eyre has made strides becoming a varsity player as a freshman and was recently named one of the players to watch by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Now, Eyre is an incoming freshman playing for the women’s soccer team and studying psychology at UC Santa
In the following interview, Eyre and I chat about her soccer journey.
Why did you decide to start playing soccer?
I grew up in a soccer family. My dad played in college, my mom is a soccer coach and my brother, who went to [SDA], played for the soccer team [as well]. And at first, it was mostly for social reasons like hanging out with friends. Through soccer, I met [now junior] Simone Boutelle and [now senior] Brooke Levan. As I continued, I really enjoyed the competitions.
Favorite high school soccer memory?
I was pulled up from junior varsity to varsity for a game against Montgomery High School in freshman year. I scored a goal with my head in the first game. From there, I got pulled up for the entire season.
Another favorite memory is when it was senior night against La Costa Canyon. We were losing badly, 3 to 0. Then, we played really well in the second half, and [and tied it] 3 to 3. In the last 15 minutes, we scored three goals, and the whole crowd went wild, especially since LCC was an open division and SDA was division three at that time.
What was it like being the youngest player on varsity?
I mean, it was a little intimidating being with juniors and seniors as a freshman. I had to work really hard and prove to others that I deserved my spot. Honestly, I have to thank [senior and captain] Julia Honda for making the experience a lot better. She was really nice and a great leader.
Now that you are a captain, what has that experience been like for you, especially during COVID-19?
It has really been fun, honestly, and I don’t think anyone is taking anything for granted because we craved this social interaction and to be back on the field. We used to go to team dinners and meet-ups, but now that the pandemic is a factor, we adjusted by eating outside for breakfast or having a bonfire at Moonlight.
As a captain, I try to get along with everyone and keep it light. It’s definitely sort of weird to be a captain because there’s a freshman on our varsity team, and I see a part of myself in her. I am the captain that I have always looked up to since freshman year. I’ve been working alongside junior Sarah Murphy, and I am excited to see how she will carry her leadership next year.
What’s most important to you as a soccer player and why?
This may sound weird, but honestly, something that I have come to value most as a soccer player is exploring other interests within my life. I know a ton of girls that I grew up playing with who were so amazingly talented for their age, but after 10 years of nonstop playing, they ended up just getting burned out. Now, most of them don’t even play anymore — the sport was just kind of ruined for them. I think that that’s my biggest fear as a player — that one day, I won’t like it anymore. Because at the end of the day, it’s really just a sport.
I know that I’m not going to play professionally or anything like that, so why treat it like it’s a career or something that I have to do? I have found that the best way to stay excited and motivated to play is by allowing myself to explore other interests. I mean, I have definitely given a lot of my time to soccer, and it’s always been a very heavy presence in my life, but I’ve tried other sports to see if there were any that I liked better. I try to get involved at school, I always put a lot of effort into my academics and I try to see my friends as much as possible.
Whenever I travel for a tournament or something, my dad and I have made it a tradition to visit local museums in the city we’re visiting. I think that I’ve now officially been to every art museum in Phoenix, and it’s something that I always look forward to in addition to just the games. I think what I’m trying to say is that by balancing soccer with other aspects of my life, I’ve come to value it more and it makes it feel more special when I get to play.
Soccer role model or general inspiration?
Not to be cliché, but I think I have to say my mom. She was the first coach I ever had, so I guess she really was the first player I truly looked up to. She’s taught me about commitment, accountability, tenacity and honestly, it’s just been a pretty fun way to spend time with her.
Often, when people first hear about how my whole family plays soccer, they kind of assume that I never really had the choice of whether or not I wanted to play. It’s actually pretty much the opposite. When I was a little kid, I just wanted to be just like my mom or family members. I couldn’t wait to play because I wanted to be just like them.
I still feel the exact same way. I want to play because my family plays, and I’m beyond stoked that this high school season is how I get to spend time with my mom before I graduate and go to college.
I also have to thank Mr. Vollstedt for announcing our games. He does it every week even though our games always go until like 9:00 p.m. and he does it for most of the other sports too!
Any advice for aspiring soccer players professionally or recreationally?
If you’ve never played and are thinking about starting, just try it! Sports are so much more fun than normal exercise. Also, you get to meet a lot of cool people. If you feel like playing isn’t quite right for you, English Premier League is always a fun thing to get into. Quality soccer is always fun to watch, and live games are super fun to go to.