When you watch the Trinity Western Spartan women’s soccer team, you’re sure to notice Carlee O’Brien- and not just for how many shots she puts in the back of the net.
“If anyone has ever watched me play they will know that I am a very unconventional player,” the fifth year forward explains. “Half the time my legs are moving too quickly to even dribble a ball correctly, and my limbs tend to extend and bend into the weirdest positions.”
However she may look out there, she’s been incredibly effective. The 5’7 Nanaimo native is the Spartans career record holder in every offensive category, with 45 goals and 22 assists totaling 112 points.
“Carlee has been a great player throughout her career,” says TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh. “She has such electric pace and that is such a weapon. It has been good to watch her grow in her ability to beat people with moves and fakes, as well as to see her touch around goal be that much better.”
Her unique style has been shaped by a variety of people, including her boyfriend, and fellow Spartan Soccer All-Canadian, Nick Perugini. “Nick and I play very differently on the pitch. However, he has challenged me in numerous ways as a soccer player, and has really been my greatest support on and off the field. Nick is a brilliant soccer player, and there is still so much about the game that I can learn from him.”
Off the pitch no one’s been a bigger influence than her mom. “She pursues everything in life as an opportunity to learn something new, and takes everything out of her experiences. She has really taught me to work hard for what I am passionate for, and to never let anything get in the way of my dreams!”
Carlee certainly is taking that advice to heart. Besides her commitments as a student athlete, she works three part-time jobs, has participated in overseas mission trips to Thailand and South Africa, and spent this past summer with Canada’s world university games team in Thailand.
Her ambition and determination will carry her on after she graduates from Trinity Western this spring. She plans to join management at the developmental gymnastics studio where she currently works, and also hopes to complete her personal training certification within the next year.
Of course there’s still plenty of work to be done on the pitch in her last year as a Spartan. The team is tied atop the Canada West standings with a 5-1 record, and Carlee leads the team in goals (4), points (10) and shots (28). With another run at Nationals within reach, you can be sure the lanky scorer will continue to contribute in her own unique, unconventional way.
Last Updated: 2008-04-25
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