As her senior season draws to a close, Hailey Brown is coming up against a big change in focus. With only the conference tournament remaining to be played, classes, graduation and life after school are beginning to demand more attention.
But, as strange as it sounds, the biggest change is coming because of a pumpkin. Carving a jack-o-lantern with her boyfriend a few weeks ago, Brown and her boyfriend went to open the pumpkin.
Instead of a mess of seeds and orange guts, Hailey found a diamond ring.
“I knew something was going on when I opened the pumpkin up and it was full of purple confetti,” she said.
With a new fiancé and a wedding coming next year, Brown is definitely facing some large changes. While she still wants to become a physical education teacher, depending on how life shapes up, she may become a cake decorator instead. Already a cake decorator by hobby, she says, “it will just depend on how things work with a new husband.”
Brown has played soccer since age 4, starting out in California before moving to Utah at age 9. At Lone Peak High School, she excelled as a goalkeeper, helping her team get two straight second place finishes in both ‘05 and ‘06, while garnering multiple honors on the field.
Ultimately, her decision to play at UVU came down in large part due to proximity. “My mom loves coming to the games,” Brown said, explaining how important it was to her mom to see her play.
So far, Brown has played in a game every season since her freshman year, racking up 77 saves, 22 in 400 minutes just this season.
Despite her stats and history, the senior goalkeeper has been relegated to backup duty this season behind redshirt freshman Lauren Sack. While it has been a bit of a disappointment, Brown said it is easier to accept this year than last year, and has tried to keep a positive outlook.
Taking the supporting role, she has worked with Sack during warm-ups, and has had a good showing when entering games as a reliever. Even though she would have loved to be the starting goalkeeper, Brown has filled the role assigned to her and wants to see Sack do well.
Off the field, Brown is nearly finished with a dual major, working on degrees in Psychology and Physical Education. Though she started out majoring solely in Psychology, she decided to switch majors mid-way through, preferring to study Physical Education.
Rather than lose the progress she has accumulated, Brown opted to finish both degrees, intending to become a high school teacher. When asked about the possibility of coaching soccer as well, she said, “It’s something I’ve thought about, but I’m not sure yet.”
No matter which route she takes, Brown is excited to finish school and move on with a career and family. She still has three more games in the conference tournament and a few more classes to finish. But once those are finished, there are plenty of options in front of her to choose from.
Whichever path she opts to take, she’s anxious to see where it leads. As she put it, “I’m just seeing where life takes me.”