By Steve Breazeale
Energy, effort, focus and dedication.
Those are some of the words San Clemente High School girls soccer coach Lauren Leslie uses to describe what makes Lauren Brzykcy such a unique talent.
The skills Brzykcy possesses were always apparent on the pitch in her stellar four-year career at SCHS, but Leslie believes it is her work ethic and approach to the game that set her apart.
Brzykcy, a goalie, loves to put in the work, and it was a big reason why she was named to the All-South Coast League first team three times, which includes being named league MVP her junior season.
That signature work ethic also propelled Brzykcy to be named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America high school All-American for the second time in her career this summer. The NSCAA named Brzykcy to the elite 32-member list on Thursday, July 6. Brzykcy was also named an All-American her junior season.
Leslie, a SCHS grad, says Brzykcy will go down as one of the best, if not the best, goalies in school history.
“(Brzykcy) puts 100 percent into every training day. She never backs off,” Leslie said.
Brzykcy is now attacking the challenge of playing at the collegiate level with the same intensity.
Brzykcy is part of a talented incoming freshman class at UCLA, and recently began her first training camp as a member of the Bruins women’s soccer team.
Before she stepped foot on campus in Westwood, Brzykcy was given a player’s fitness packet full of workouts she was expected to complete when camp got underway. Brzykcy couldn’t wait to get started, so she began completing the workouts on her own training in San Clemente in anticipation.
“Playing in college is going to be 10 times more intense. I’m just getting ready and working 110 percent,” Brzykcy, who was named SCHS female athlete of the year in 2017, said.
Brzykcy is part of a freshman class that is ranked second in the nation by www.topdrawersoccer.com. Brzykcy is joined by her former club soccer teammates and San Juan Hills High School grads Dani Satterwhite and Issy Bellinghausen.
“The people coming in to this class are ridiculous. We’ve all been getting along great in summer and we’re becoming a team,” Brzykcy said. “I think we’ll go far and maybe even win it all.”
The Bruins return Pac-12 All-Freshman goalie Teagan Micah, but Brzykcy said she is looking forward to competing for playing time.
Brzykcy is also adjusting to life as a college student. She is training several times a week with the team and taking summer school courses. She plans on pursuing a degree in physical therapy.
UCLA will open its season with an exhibition match against Canada FISU at Drake Stadium on Friday, Aug. 11.