WPSL Q&A Series: Goalkeeper Sadie Brown

At the RAGE WPSL Girls festival, WPSL goalkeeper Sadie Brown shares advice to young athletes at the event in a Q&A. She has just graduated from the 03-04 RAGE ECNL team & is on the way to playing collegiately for Claremont Mckenna University.

Will you be playing college soccer?

I will be playing at Claremont Mckenna. It is a small D3 private outside of LA.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been solely a goalkeeper for six years, but I started eight years ago. 

How did you start playing for RAGE?

I have four older siblings who all played for RAGE, so it’s kind of just a birthright. It’s a Pleasanton thing to come play for RAGE, so that’s how I started and I’ve loved it ever since.

What is your favorite part about the game?

My favorite part of the game is definitely meeting new people and all the bonding time that you have with your teammates. Soccer has given me time to travel, time to meet new friends in all kinds of different places, so as a goalkeeper, getting people’s trust on the field and off the field is a big part of it. Getting to know people is probably my favorite part of the game. 

What is something you’ve learned so far in the WPSL season?

Being able to adjust to new things – new coach; new teammates; new experiences with WPSL players; learning a new playing style is always & adapting to the environment.

Do you feel like you receive mentorship from experienced players on the team?

Definitely. It’s really fun to see some old players I looked up to on RAGE and actually, I have a little bit of a laugh. Haley’s one of my sister’s best friends and they laugh when they’re like “oh my little sisters’ playing with you.” It’s cool to get some mentorship from the older players. (You should) take their experience into account, (its) probably what you guys are about to go through. It’s really interesting to hear what they have and learn from them. 

Did you always want to be a goalie, or were you put into that position and liked it?

If you asked me when I was your age, I would say no. I hated goalkeeper, I would say “Don’t put me back there!” But honestly, it played to my strengths. I was a multisport athlete, so I use my hands in basketball a lot. It was kinda like, “oh you play basketball, you can go in that position.” 

What is your favorite position on the field?

Something on the outside wing. So either an outside back or an outside forward.

Do you like being a goalkeeper?

I do like goalkeeper. You feel special being the only one to use your hands on the field. Stumping some forwards is fun sometimes too. You know when they have a really good shot, but you got it and you’re like “ha, I was there,” so it’s a fun position.  

Besides soccer, what is your favorite sport?

My favorite sport has gotta be lacrosse. I played for high school and it’s definitely a really fun sport. Plus, Pleasanton has its own club team, Pleasanton Pride. I was a midfielder for that, which is funny. 

Being a goalkeeper requires a lot of confidence, so what do you do when you’re not feeling confident in yourself?

This is when teammates are really important. You should definitely work on your own self-confidence and being able to pick yourself back up, but I have some key players on my own team who I can come to, who can boost my confidence, who can say, “Hey, remember that one good save that you had?” Like forget all the negatives, think about the positives, and that helps you boost up.

Being a goalkeeper is definitely pretty hard because you’re the last line of defense and you feel like those goals are all on you. But imagine it has to go through ten other players before it goes to you, so getting in a mindset that it’s not all your fault and you have to learn from your mistakes is really important.

How did you transition goalkeeping 9v9 to 11v11 games?

It was a hard transition. That last year, I had a growth spurt, so my hand was over the bar. I was like, “No one’s gonna score on me now, I’m taller than the bar.” but then we had to transition to the bigger goals, the bigger balls, everything, and it was a big transition. At the same time, you have more players on the field, so you get used to it, you have more space to work with, and as you move up in age groups your confidence also grows. 

What advice can you give to goalkeepers or prospective goalkeepers?

Being a goalkeeper is a fun position on the field. I think that one of the most important things you guys need to do is not be afraid. Be able to communicate, come out of your shell. It’s an important position on the field, you’re a steady rock for your team. Being able to connect with everyone on the team, on the field and off the field, it’s a very important attribute of a goalkeeper.