Our society talks a lot about options, almost always in a positive way.
Sometimes it seems almost as if having options is the very definition of success or advancement.
Brown coach Phil Pincince serves as a very good reminder that there’s something to be said for permanence and longevity.
The 36th-year head coach won his 300th career game September 20as the Bears defeated Massachusetts 1-0. In his post-match comments, Pincince immediately noted that credit for the wins should always go to the players first.
Brown is doing it in part through a strong defense, having surrendered just 5 goals in 8 matches thus far. A starting back four of Alison Mullin, Diana Ohrt, Annie Gillen and Emily Wingrove play in front of the goalkeeping tandem of juniors Amber Bledsoe and MC Barrett
Speaking to TopDrawerSoccer.com on Tuesday, the veteran coach said this year’s defensive unit (6-2-0) has come together quickly
“It’s been rock solid especially when you consider how young it is this year,” he said. “Only one (Ohrt) was in the backfield last year. Emily was a forward for us and in the spring I told her she’s too good not to have on the field and so we turned her into a wingback.”
Pincince said the shared goalkeeping duties have been arranged that way between Bledsoe and Barrett since they were freshmen.
“For three years running they’ve been doing the same thing,” he said. “They were amazing as freshmen They really challenged each other and we thougth we could turn it into a positive. We’ve run with it ever since. It’s only happened one other time in my career.”
Chloe Cross and Mika Siegelman are the leading scorers on the team, which Pencince described as more likely to play the ball on the deck than some recent versions of the Bears.
“We just graduated a great group of six seniors and we had built a system around their attributes,” he said. “What’ I’ve got now is different than what we’ve seen in the past few years. It’s a little more dynamic up top and I think more creative. We’re very talented in midfield and up top. It’s an exciting team to watch.”
Pincince said when full time was blown in the big win, he immediately thought about his first win and also all the individuals who have been a part of the program. He noted that in the early days of his coaching tenure at Brown, the Ivy League limited games per season to 15, while the NCAA allowed 22. Eventually the Ivy League raised the number to 17 and the NCAA cut it to 20.
As for the accomplishment, Pincince admits it is “pretty special” and again deflected credit to players, assistant coaches, administrators and everyone else who has been connected with the Brown soccer family. He also opined on the value of longevity and putting down roots.
“We feel special about the Brown soccer family,” he said. “If you come to play for me at Brown, you will be part of the past, present and future. It’s not just four years, but a lifetime commitment.
“Everybody always thinks the grass is greener on the other side,” he continued. “I love Brown, I like the students we attract. I’m a Rhode Islander and I love Rhode island. There were other opportunities, but my first consideration was always my family and our quality of life. This is home and it’s special and where I want to be.”