Girls soccer

Chesterton junior forward Brendza emerges as a scoring threat

2012-09-23T17:00:00Z 2012-10-01T01:50:12Z Chesterton junior forward Brendza emerges as a scoring threatJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
September 23, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

Chesterton junior forward Bridget Brendza is relentless in her desire to score goals.

Neither her slim 5-foot-6 frame nor two previous injuries incurred inside the penalty area of the pitch appear to have become obstacles to that pursuit.

"I'm always hungry for the ball. Scoring is my favorite thing to do," Brendza said. "I try to do it every game."

She has 16 goals and two assists in 14 reported games for the Times No. 4 Trojans (10-4-1).

The offensive output is exactly what Chesterton coach David Galloway needed out of Brendza, as graduation losses and leading scorer Rosie Biehl's move to cross country left a 40-goal void in the lineup.

"I think in my mind, I knew she would have to be the go-to person," Galloway said of his three-year varsity player. "When she has a chance to finish, we need her to finish."

Brendza's ability to finish plays is a by-product of her blazing speed and fearless attitude inside the 18.

"Once they saw my speed in high school, I was moved to forward," said Brendza, who has also spent time at midifeld. "I'd rather play forward than anywhere else."

The fearless attitude was tested last season when Brendza missed time due to two collisions with goalies. She strained the ACL in one knee against Valparaiso and missed two weeks of play, and then she injured her shoulder against Crown Point and was out two more games.

"In both cases, I was trying to get the ball into the net," Brendza said. "Both times I got taken out, but that doesn't stop me from going hard. There's a factor of getting hurt; I probably will get hurt."

But something else drives her to continue to attempt to make plays.

"I will sacrifice myself and my body for the team," she said. "I want the team to go far and win."

In light of that philosophy, Galloway tries to make Brendza aware of her importance to the roster.

"We try to make sure that she is under more control," Galloway said. "We needed her to be cognizant of the fact that she needs to remain healthy.

"She's a slight person. She doesn't have a lot of weight to her, and I have concern for her. For some reason, she seems to be very resilient."

She also seems to have no problem taking on the added responsibility of being the team's top scoring threat this season.

"The first few games it hit me that I needed to step up," she said. "To be honest, I like the pressure. Most people don't take it the right way, but I look at in a positive light. I play better with (pressure), because I know what I need to do."

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