Brush and Lozier combine to lead women’s soccer revival
By Emma Willems
Published on Wednesday, October 17, 2012
After a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Ivy League in 2011, the Dartmouth women’s soccer team has rebounded this season and currently sits in a tie for second in the Ivy standings. A big reason for Dartmouth’s success has been the play of Emma Brush ’13 and Chrissy Lozier ’14, who are tied for second place on the Ivy League scoring list this season with seven goals each.
Brush, one of three captains, also ranks third in the league with three game-winning goals in 2012. Earlier in the season, she was named Ivy League Player of the Week after scoring three goals in a two-game stretch against the University of Maine and Rutgers University.
Originally from Grosse Point Park, Mich., Brush played just four games for the Big Green during her freshman year and was forced to sit out her sophomore year due to a hip injury. She returned in her junior year and played in all 16 games, splitting time between central and outside midfield. With consistent playing time, Brush thrived and was named second team All-Ivy and earned Dartmouth Player of the Year honors.
As a senior, Brush has played a larger role on the team, taking on the responsibilities of co-captain while balancing a position change to forward after starter Tasha Wilkins ’15 went down with an injury.
“[Being a forward] has been really exciting,” Brush said. “I get to run fast at defenders and play farther up the field, so the ball comes to me closer to the goal.”
Even though she admits she worked hard during the offseason, Brush attributes much of her success to head coach Theresa Romagnolo, who took over in Hanover prior to last season.
“[Romagnolo] has pushed all of the team to reach new levels of strength and conditioning, which is really important,” Brush said. “She and our assistant coach Kelly Kuss have forced me to step up as an attacker and take responsibility for that role.”
Indeed, Romagnolo acknowledged that being a forward has forced Brush to concentrate on different areas of her play.
“She’s a very creative player and great at keeping possession,” Romagnolo said. “We’ve been working on being more aggressive and attacking opponents instead of just being someone who keeps possession for us.”
Brush plans to return for an extra term next fall and continue playing for the Big Green due to her redshirted sophomore season.
“Emma has put the team on her back and she’s run with it,” Romagnolo said. “She’s one of the most selfless people on the team — she’ll do anything for her teammates.”
Lozier, who hails from Fairfield, Conn., has had an equally successful season. Five of her seven goals came during a five-game scoring streak in September that included goals against Ivy foes Brown University and Princeton University.
Lozier began playing soccer at a very young age and continued throughout high school to play on town, club, school, state and regional teams. Although she played well as a freshman in 2010, twice earning Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors, she came into her own after Romagnolo switched her from left to center midfield last season.
“[Lozier] can really play well on both sides of the ball,” Romagnolo said. “Moving her into center mid was a huge way to get more out of her.”
Having played center midfield on previous teams, Lozier said she welcomed the change in position.
“It wasn’t a huge transition, but I loved being in the center and being on the ball all of the time,” Lozier said. “My sophomore year as a whole was a good learning experience for me as a player.”
Lozier credited her improvement to the hard work she put in during the offseason.
“My offseason training has been really important soccer and fitness-wise,” Lozier said. “As a left-footed player, I worked a lot on my right foot so I could be as versatile a player as possible.”
She also attributed a portion of her success to the infectious attitude her team has developed this year.
“Our whole team has developed the mentality that we’re going to attack and work hard on the field,” Lozier said.
This heightened team mentality can be seen in Lozier and Brush’s close relationship.
“Playing with Chrissy has been really fun this year because we’ve made a kind of joke competition with each other over who can score more goals,” Brush said.
Despite the friendly competition, Lozier and Brush are each an important part of the team, according to Romagnolo.
“They are both incredibly hardworking — they come to practice and stay late,” Romagnolo said. “They are very concerned about their teammates and making sure that everybody is having a good experience, but at the same time, they hold their teammates to a high standard for how they carry themselves on and off of the field.”