With a passion for flair and a knack of making defenders look bad, junior forward Brook Chang, nicknamed “Twinkle Toes” for her technical prowess and nimble feet, is living up to the heavy expectations put on her after a team-high four goals as a freshman in 2008.
After a disappointing sophomore campaign in which she didn’t score a single goal, Chang has already doubled her career goal count by netting four in the first 11 games for the Red.
Chang’s first goal of the season came against St. Bonaventure, where she was able to dribble around the goalkeeper for a gorgeous goal, is characteristic of her electrifying style of play that has made her the go-to forward for the Red.
“I definitely like to play with a lot of flair, I like to dribble — I like being a flashy player,” Chang said.
As expected from a young player who loves to play with the ball at her feet, Chang often struggled with knowing when to take defenders on and when to give the ball up.
“Sometimes it’s almost to the point where it’s a flaw — when I play with the ball too much,” Chang said.
Leading the Red in scoring this season, Chang seems to have put her struggles behind her. For her, the key difference between this season and last has been confidence.
“She’s one of those players who will score goals in bunches at times and struggle at times,” said head coach Danielle LaRoche. “The key for her is remaining confident and aggressive when the goals aren’t coming.”
Staying positive has worked wonders for Chang this year.
“I needed to let it go and let it flow and stop over-thinking stuff,” Chang said. “This year I’m a lot more carefree with my style, so I don’t over-think stuff and try not to stress out and just play.”
During the summer, Chang plays for the U-20 semi-pro team the Washington Freedom. She trains with U.S. goal-scoring machine Abby Wombach and other professional players. Leading her team in scoring for the past two summers has helped Chang mentally and physically prepare for this season.
“Playing for [the Freedom] was a great way to help my confidence, since I was scoring goals. Scoring goals is kind of habitual; when you are scoring it becomes a habit,” Chang said.
Of course, scoring pretty goals — not just your average goals — also helps.
“I really love scoring goals that will make people say ‘wow,’” Chang said. “If I score a goal off my butt, it’s cool, but when I score those amazing goals that my dad burns on a disc and sends to me, it really helps my confidence.”
Original Author: Jimmy Xi