By: Nick Johnson '13
After redshirting her freshman year, Sara Brathwaite (SB) has become a spark plug for the Broncos in her sophomore campaign appearing in seven games with two starts. Brathwaite's hard work on and off the field along with her great positive attitude makes her a great example of what Santa Clara Bronco student athletes are all about. Recently, SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) got a chance to catch up with the sophomore and discuss her current soccer career and her future goals.
SCB: What brought you to Santa Clara to pursue your soccer career?
SB: I came to Santa Clara to pursue my soccer career because from the second I stepped onto the campus and met Jerry and the team I knew this was the place for me. I knew that I would learn a lot about the game and would potentially grow and reach my full potential as a soccer player and person. I knew it was going to be a challenge, which is something I love and am always willing to embrace.
SCB: What has been the biggest difference between high school soccer and soccer at the collegiate level?
SB: The biggest difference between high school soccer and college soccer is defiantly the speed of the game and the mental aspect as well. At the college level everyone is fast and strong, and your decisions need to be much sharper and quicker. Mentally you have to beat your opponent.
SCB: What has been your most memorable moment so far with the Santa Clara soccer team?
SB: My most memorable moment with the team so far would have to have been our team-bonding trip to the paint ball arena. I felt that we really jelled as a team, and you really got to see everyone's true personalities on the battlefield. It was a great trip, one that I will never forget.
SCB: What were your personal goals for your sophomore season?
SB: For my sophomore year my main goal was to get some playing time this season and make an impact, and difference on the field when I step out there for my teammates.
SCB: What did you work on most in the offseason to achieve those goals?
SB: During the offseason I worked on all aspects of my game everyday. I woke up early during the summer and ran with my fellow teammate, Jenny Laponte, and would go to a field by my house and spend hours working on my touch with the wall, and doing other skill work. Then in the evenings I would go to my club practice with a few of my teammates and train.
SCB: How do you think playing some of the best teams in the country in your tough non-conference schedule will prepare the team as you get set to begin conference play?
SB: I think by us playing some of the best teams in the nation during our non-confrence has made us extremely ready for conference play. I think we have a tone of experience thus far, especially in overtime games, and I hope that we use this momentum that we have right now to go on and win our conference. I know we can do it.
SCB: What are your expectations for the team for the remainder of the season?
SB: I have high expectations for our team. We are doing really well right now and are only on the rise. I want us to go on to win our conference, and make it to the final four this year.
SCB: What hobbies or activities do you enjoy on your free time from soccer and school?
SB: In my free time I enjoy cooking, being with my family and friends, playing basketball at times, going shopping, and seeing movies.
SCB: With your aspirations of becoming a doctor, how hard has it been to balance both soccer and academics here at Santa Clara?
SB: It has been very hard trying to balance soccer and school especially with my Public Health major. Each requires a lot of time and dedication, but I manage it at the end of the day and my teammates and friends are all very supportive and understanding.
SCB: Do you have any long-term goals for the remainder of your Santa Clara career?
SB: My long time goals are to continue playing and helping our team reach our full potential each season, by making it to the final four for the rest of the time I am here.