Sept. 6, 2007
By Erica Beck
Washington State Athletic Media Relations
The bumps and the bruises. The long road trips and the late nights. It's nothing new for Washington State women's soccer player Brynn Bemis. Bemis will be suiting up for her fourth year as goalkeeper in the crimson and gray after logging over 1,300 minutes in goal last fall as a Cougar starter.
The 2006 season saw Bemis make an indent in the record books as she notched seven solo shutouts to tie for second place for the single-season shutout record. She also played a major role in setting a new team record as the Cougar defense allowed only 15 goals the entire season. That number broke the previous record of fewest goals allowed (16) set in 1994. Bemis is also currently sitting in 10th on the career saves list with 70 after three seasons.
Despite her individual successes, especially her breakout 2006 season, Bemis is quick to credit her teammates for a large portion of the accolades.
"I wouldn't have been able to have the numbers I did without my defense. I feel incredibly blessed to have such strong athletes surrounding me. It's definitely a team success because without them it wouldn't have happened," said Bemis.
Outside of academics, soccer commands most of Bemis's focus these days. It wasn't always that way, however. Bemis played on the WSU women's basketball team as a walk-on her freshman and sophomore seasons, averaging five minutes in nine games her second year.
After sustaining an injury at the end of her sophomore basketball season that hindered her during the spring soccer season, Bemis made the choice to focus solely on her sport of choice: soccer.
"I wasn't going to be the best I could be at basketball or soccer if I was to continue to do both," said Bemis. "I came here for soccer and so that is the one I chose."
Numerous universities were recruiting Bemis for basketball at the end of her prep career, mostly schools from conferences such as the Big Sky. Bemis was drawn to the competitive Pacific-10 conference, however, and the WSU atmosphere was one that suited Bemis. When Cougar head coach Matt Potter and assistant coach Lindsey Jorgensen began recruiting Bemis and her twin sister Brooke, a forward starter for the Cougars, it wasn't long before both committed to play for WSU.
Although Bemis has been playing in goal for a long time, starting when she played on a club team and then through high school and college, she first got her start in soccer playing in the field alongside her twin on the frontline.
"I think I was around five. It was park and rec; everyone plays soccer when they're little," said Bemis. "My older brother also played and I guess I just wanted to be like him. Once I got into it, I loved it and I didn't stop."
Every soccer team Bemis has been a part of is thankful she never stopped. As she has moved up through the ranks, her growth as a soccer player has been consistent. As a high school goalkeeper, Bemis was more on the quiet side, rarely vocalizing her leadership. As she has matured into the starting role on the Cougar squad, Bemis has become one of the leaders the team looks to during a game which she credits to Jorgensen.
Jorgensen was a WSU goalie from 1998-2001 and is scattered all over the Cougar records. Bemis considers Jorgensen to be the best coach she has ever had and has been influenced greatly by Jorgensen's coaching and leadership style.
"Brynn is very down-to-earth and levelheaded. When she first came here, she was really athletic but pretty raw with some training but not a lot," said Jorgensen. "As she has gained experience, she has gained all the tools to be one of the best goalkeepers in college."
With those tools and words of encouragement backing her, Bemis hopes to lead 2007's Cougar soccer team to a Pac-10 title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. On a personal level, Bemis is hoping to realize her ultimate goal of continuing her career in professional soccer. Whether it is stateside or overseas, the prospect is a definite possibility in Bemis's future.
For now, the political science and pre-law major is intent on enjoying her last collegiate soccer season, the camaraderie of the team, bowling and movie nights. Bemis also hopes to make her final months as a Cougar one of her best.
"I love the pressure being a goalkeeper involves because it forces me to play my best," said Bemis. "If I make a mistake, it's pretty much a goal. I need that pressure to push me. It's my favorite part of being a goalie."