After two years of playing a supporting role, this year is Sarah Brown’s chance to be a star.
The junior tri-captain was a clutch shooter off the bench for the women’s basketball team last year. This season, she will play a much larger role as the team’s number-one option.
“She is our go-to player, the offensive spark of the team,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “This year is hopefully her breakout year.”
Brown has some big shoes to fill for the Red. The team lost six players to graduation in 2004, including two All-Ivy selections in Karen Force ’04 and Tanya Karcic ’04.
Force was the first woman to record more than 1,250 points and 400 assists in Ivy League play.
Rather than being intimidated, Brown believes the players that came before her have helped her prepare for the new leadership role she will take on this season.
“We had some very good seniors and leaders over the last two years that I was able to look to for advice,” she said. “They were very good role models. I learned a lot about how to carry myself on and off the court and how to play through adverse expectations.”
Brown is ready to shoulder a bigger load for the Red. She is confident in her own abilities and those of the players around her.
“I’m excited about it,” she said of her increased role on the team. “I’m a shooter, I love to shoot.”
The coaching staff is also excited about the opportunity for Brown to step up this year.
“She’s learned a lot and now she’s ready to use it,” Smith said. “She’s soaked everything up. She knows the positives and negatives from [last year’s] team. Now she knows it’s her team.”
While Brown may not yet have recorded the minutes or the statistics of a star player, Smith knows the potential is there. In last year’s game against Harvard, Brown came off the bench with two minutes to go and the Red down by eight points.
She made the difference for the Red, hitting a bank 3-pointer to get Cornell within two points with 10 seconds left. Cornell went on to win the game in overtime. Smith believes that this performance shows what Brown is capable of.
“She’s the most competitive player on the team,” Smith said. “As captain, we want her to verbalize it, show it through her motions and her play. She’s one of the toughest kids I know. We want her to express it more, put out more on the court. She’s taken a big step, but she needs another.”
Brown is ready for that big step, and she wants to take the rest of the team with her. A pre-season poll projecting the Red to finish last in the Ivy League has just given her another reason to step it up this season.
“I definitely wan the team to gain some respect in the Ivy League,” she said. “We were ranked last, and now we can only go up. I really want to prove it as a team and for individuals.”
Smith believes Brown is the right person to lead the way as the Red sets out to prove what it is capable of.
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer