Photo by Lonna King
With two WAC Defensive Player of the Week recognitions so far this season, freshman goalkeeper Brooklyn Nielsen is quickly becoming a key figure for the Utah Valley University women’s soccer team.
Nielsen is a Sandy, Utah native, who graduated from Jordan High School in 2016. The youngest of five, Nielson has played soccer since the age of 6 while growing up in an athletic household.
“Two of my brothers are actually aerialists in Cirque Du Soleil,” Nielsen said. “So we have all grown up doing all kinds of athletics.”
Nielsen is currently an exercise science major, but plans to switch to psychology and will try to minor in music. Drawn to sports psychology, Nielsen has always been interested in the subject.
“A lot of it is to help myself,” Nielsen said. “I also want to help the other people in sports.”
With several colleges knocking at her door, she chose UVU over BYU, Utah State and San Diego. Nielsen was heavily recruited by head coach Brent Anderson, but also wanted to stay close to her loved ones.
“I just loved the campus, I felt so good about it, it seemed like the right fit for me,” Nielsen said.
With several key saves, Nielsen is making a habit of making some phenomenal plays for UVU, one of many was against in-state rival Utah. The spectacular save came in the final minute of the second overtime, as Nielsen tipped the ball over the goal to secure the 0-0 tie.
Nielsen has only allowed four goals this season, and has recorded a total of 30 saves in the eight games she has played.
After starting out as the backup to Sarah Davis, Nielsen eventually took over as the starter in the Oklahoma match Aug. 28. However, the change at the box hasn’t affected her close relationship with Davis.
“We both push each other,” Nielsen said. “We always encourage each other, and are really proud of each other’s accomplishments.”
Having been honored twice as the WAC DPOW, Nielsen’s play has caught the attention of the conference.
“It was such a confidence booster, and I simply felt like all my hard work was paying off,” Nielsen said. “Now after receiving it a second time I am just overjoyed and still in a bit of shock.”
The future is bright for the freshman, who is thrilled to be part of the UVU soccer team. Nielsen couldn’t be happier for what the program has accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the future.
I’m a 33 year-old California native, I decided to combine my passion for sports with my love of writing and hopefully one day make a career out of it. I’m also a huge Orlando Magic, Indianapolis Colts and New York Yankees fan! I’m also a huge nerd, I just love to geek out over superhero movies, games and shows.