Lander finds next step on Western Oregon soccer pitch

MONMOUTH, ORE. — After four years of fierce play at North Kitsap High School and plus six years of development as part of the select team Westsound FC — formerly FC Kitsap — NK’s fiery forward Brenna Lander is taking her enthusiasm onto the NCAA division II soccer pitch.

MONMOUTH, ORE. — After four years of fierce play at North Kitsap High School and plus six years of development as part of the select team Westsound FC — formerly FC Kitsap — NK’s fiery forward Brenna Lander is taking her enthusiasm onto the NCAA division II soccer pitch.

She signed her letter of intent earlier this month to join the Wolves of Western Oregon University.

“I would think I would be more nervous than I am,” Lander said. “I’m nervous about moving away to college but not so much about soccer. I feel like I’m going away with the best possible set of skills.”

Since 2002, Lander has been a part of the Westsound FC select team which tasted championships throughout the Northwest, and played a brief stint at the state’s premiere, P-1, league in 2005, and finished first in P-2 in 2006.

At NKHS, she earned a varsity role in her freshman year and culminated leading the team in assists as co-captain in her senior year. As a junior in 2005, Lander was the Vikings leading scorer while also leading the team in assists and she earned a first team All-Narrows selection.

With all of that behind her, she said what she’ll cherish most from those years are the friendships that were formed.

“The girls from high school,” she said when asked about the most memorable aspect of her youth soccer career. “I love every single one of them, I’m going to miss them so much.”

But the fact that she will be entering the college rank with another team is comforting in the fact that she will be surrounded by new teammates to forge new relationships.

In fact, it was the beginning of a few of those friendships which sealed the deal for Lander at WOU after three trips to the campus. On her third and final trip, Lander tried out for coach Rod Fretz and got to meet a few of her soon-to-be teammates.

“Before I even got home, there was a message on my machine saying that there was money down there for me,” she said.

Though WOU head coach Fretz could not be reached for comment by press time, Lander said she’s excited to continue her role as a forward on the pitch.

However in the classroom is where one of Lander’s main incentives for choosing WOU lies. She’s planning for an athletic education that will lead her into a career in Physical Education and coaching.

“My mom suggested Western Oregon because of the educational program that they have,” she said, noting that she too was impressed with what WOU had to offer. “I think that my parents really supported Western because its the perfect distance away.”

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