A little more than two years ago, St. Mary’s soccer coach Gregg Braha didn’t know what he was getting when Mary Brummel showed up for tryouts.
Braha was familiar with the name, as Brummel’s older brothers played baseball for the Pirates, but didn’t know much more due to the family’s choice to home school.
Luckily for Braha, the third Brummel kid gravitated towards soccer.
“I just never really was interested in the sport,” she said of softball. “I love to run, and I had friends and they always played soccer. I just thought it was really cool and so it was something I wanted to do since I was little.”
While she earned a starting spot as a freshman and was second on the team in scoring as a sophomore, Brummel started her junior campaign on a different level.
She opened the season with two goals and two assists in a 7-0 win over Pagosa Springs on Friday before recording a hat trick in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Bayfield to earn Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Week.
“It took her about half a season to get any confidence last year. She blossomed really well,” Braha said.
“There’s no waiting period this year.”
Braha and Brummel credited the quick start to her decision to accept an invite from some of her St. Mary’s teammates to try out for a club team in an older age division.
“Playing up an age group really helped me develop confidence and I think just scoring against hard teams during club season has helped me to realize I can do it,” Brummel said.
Adding self assurance to her goal-scoring instincts looks to be a tough pairing for opponents.
“Besides being aggressive and strong, she’s got a natural striker’s ability. She turns and goes to goal,” Braha said.
“It’s a great way to approach that position.”
Now Brummel is hoping that she can help take the Pirates deeper into the postseason after a first-round exit each of the previous two seasons. With four girls out from the state championship basketball team, the hope is some of their hardwood experiences pays dividends in the spring.
“I was so happy for them, and it was so exciting to hear that they won,” Brummel said. “I think it kinda gave the team an energy of kinda seeing them doing that and think ‘Hey, we should do that too.’”
Heading into her freshman season, Brummel said she only knew two of her teammates, a close friend and a club teammate. That quickly changed, and neither party seems to have a regret two years later.
“Girls just took to her literally Day 1 as a freshman,” Braha said. “There was really no adjustment period.”
“There’s no other place I would rather play,” Brummel added. “Everyone is so nice. It’s a great team and great atmosphere. It’s just been awesome.”
Other Peak Performers
Brady Choban, Lewis-Palmer
The Ranger senior has a four-game hitting streak going to start the season, batting .467 with a homer, four RBI and six steals on as many attempts. He’s also boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage and 1-0 record on the mound.
Fionna O’Halloran, The Classical Academy
The freshman helped the Titans post a program record at Thursday’s Valor Invitational. O’Halloran carded an 87 to lead TCA to a team score of 267, a new program best by nine strokes. The Titans finished seventh in a field of nearly 20 teams.
Jack Egan, Cheyenne Mountain
The Indian senior has racked up at least five points in each of the Indians’ three games this season. Last week, he had two goals and four assists in a win over Palmer before adding three goals and two assists in a win over Windsor.
Olivia McCrary, Liberty
McCrary, a senior, has done her part despite the Lancers’ 0-2 record. She opened the season with three goals against Columbine on Thursday and matched that output in Saturday’s 13-10 loss to Green Mountain.
Sarah Ford, Coronado
The sophomore helped the Cougars to their first two wins of the season last week. She opened with an assist in a 3-0 win over Vista Ridge before scoring twice in a 4-3 overtime win over Pueblo South on Friday.
Braden Whitmarsh, Discovery Canyon
The junior captain led the Thunder to a convincing dual victory over Cheyenne Mountain. Whitmarsh won the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 15.44 seconds and helped the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
Morgan Hall, Cheyenne Mountain
Hall, a junior, led the Indians to their first two dual wins over the season by winning both of her No. 1 singles matches last week. She opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Lewis-Palmer before downing Niwot’s No. 1, 6-4, 1-3, 6-4.
Boys track and field
Chris Montross, Cheyenne Mountain
The junior helped the Indians finish third at the Harrison Panther Invitational on Saturday, as he won the 1,600-meter race in 4 minutes, 36.41 seconds.
Girls track and field
Olivia Whitaker, Air Academy
The senior sprinter led the Kadets to the Harrison Panther Invitational with a pair of top-two finishes. Whitaker won the 200 meters in 25.84 seconds and finished second in the 100 at 12.48, .01 seconds away from a pair of first-place finishes.