Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 41
Monique BrunelloSt. Joseph High School girls' soccer
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
Sara McGilliway, the girls’ soccer coach at St. Joseph High School, said the Lady Knights are coming into this season with a secret weapon on their side: senior attacking-mid Monique Brunello.
“She is a strong leader with actions on and off the field. She is very competitive in a positive way,” McGilliway said.
Brunello started off the season with a big game against Orcutt Academy, racking up four goals. A few games in, the star player has nine goals and four assists. Coach McGilliway said the team captain is a huge threat to the Knights’ rivals.
McGilliway, who is in her second season as coach, said Brunello was very talented last year but has gained more confidence this season.
“Her composure on the ball is so crucial and it makes her very deadly,” the coach said. “Her biggest asset is that she is so composed under pressure.”
The quiet and seemingly shy Brunello said she has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old—following in the footsteps of her athletic brothers. After so many years in the game, Brunello said endurance and ball handling are equally important for individual players and for the team. She is motivated by her passion for competition and the game.
“I love when my team is on offense connecting passes and we are in control,” she said.
Brunello said her goal this year is to keep playing her best and to improve in all aspects of the game. As a captain, Brunello said she wants to be someone who the younger girls can look up to.
“There are different kinds of leadership, like yelling in people’s faces all the time, but that’s not me,” she said. “I try to lead by example on and off the field.”
McGilliway said she would like her attacking-mid to become even more of a vocal leader and to rally the team with intensity in her voice.
Brunello said that some of her strengths in soccer include leadership, good field vision, and tremendous focus.
“If I make a mistake, I just let it go and try to win it back,” she said.
McGilliway, who is a former collegiate soccer player, said Brunello is totally capable of playing at the next level. However, the successful senior wants to focus on school.
“Soccer has taught me to persevere and to be strong, and my coach has taught me how to be a good person and that there is more to life than soccer,” Brunello said. “I will really miss all the time spent together with my team.”