Australian native Brown finds success in only season at SU

first_imgTegan Brown knew coming into the season that she would only have one season to compete for a national championship.NCAA regulations prohibit the freshman midfielder from participating beyond this season, her first and only at Syracuse. According to the NCAA, for every year after a player turns 21, they lose a year of eligibility. Because of that, the 24-year-old Brown has had only one season to prove her worth for the Orange.Brown and No. 9 Syracuse will play in its last regular-season home game against No. 12 Georgetown Saturday. Unless the Orange secures a top-eight seed in the NCAA tournament, Brown will be playing in her last game in the Dome with her senior teammates.‘I’m a little disappointed,’ Brown said. ‘But it’s been an amazing experience, something you can’t describe.’Brown, a member of the Australian national women’s lacrosse team, came to SU in the fall. Despite missing fall ball, she has figured in nicely. But the transition didn’t come without its challenges. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textInitially, it took Brown some time to adjust to the difference in the styles of play between Australia and the United States. The laid-back approach has been replaced by a fast-paced mentality. Brown explained that in Australia, players are more concentrated on ball control.‘It was a little bit hard coming in because I have my own style of play that I’ve brought from back home,’ Brown said. ‘I had to change it a little bit to fit in with the other girls, and they’ve had to adapt to the way I play as well.’After playing a starring role in Australia, Brown had to find her niche in SU head coach Gary Gait’s program when she came to Syracuse. As a freshman with a unique amount of experience coming in, Brown found herself surrounded by a group of players who previously entrenched themselves as the leaders of the program.But Brown’s experience has shown at big points during games throughout the season, including the Cornell game on April 21, when she scored the game-winning goal in a 7-6 victory. The years of playing for the national team have worked in Brown’s favor. ‘She’s played against the best of the best,’ Gait said. ‘She’s certainly not playing like a freshman, much more like an upperclassman. And her experience really gives her that ability.’Brown reformed her style of play and had meshed well with her teammates. She has started in each of the team’s 16 games and has tallied 38 points for the season.Along with the production, Brown brings speed and another dodger from up top to the Orange offense. Brown bolsters a lineup that is filled with scoring threats. Five SU players have at least 29 goals, and it has given the team confidence.‘If you look at the scoreboard, there isn’t just one person that has our goals. It’s all spread out,’ freshman attack Michelle Tumolo said. ‘Everyone is capable of scoring, and that’s something that is a huge weapon we have.’Brown has been able to adjust her play to complement the other players. In the meantime, the team formed stronger connections. ‘Everyone was awesome and open and welcoming when I first got here, and we definitely have strong bonds on and off the field,’ Brown said. ‘There are a couple of us that just click, and it’s been amazing.’As the season draws to the close, Brown has the last few games in the season to prove that her move westward was worth it. Despite only a year to prove that she is an elite player in both the Big East and in the national conversation, she has bigger things in mind.The hard transition is over. Now, starting with Georgetown and leading into the Big East tournament, Brown will enter the most important contests of her SU career. She knows she only has so much longer to make her mark. ‘I’m ready to go out there and leave it all on the field,’ Brown said. ‘I’ve got nothing to lose and I’ve only got these next couple of games coming up, so it’s do or die for me.’adtredin@syr.edu Published on April 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more