Brownell Leaves for NCAA, Division III

Tom Treweek

Last fall, Rick Brownell led the Bucks soccer team to the EPCC State Championship. This fall, Brownell has his sights set on the NCAA National Championship.

Brownell is the new coach of the Arcadia University Knights women’s soccer team.

Brownell sighted student turnover as one reason he left Bucks. He had always wanted to build a program and was unable to do that in a two year school.

Brownell said that at Bucks he might have 14 freshman players, but only three or four returning. “So many of the players are in transition,” he said.

So in many ways, Brownell now has what he wants.

“It’s not that great a program now,” said Brownell of the Arcadia team. “We have good recruiting for two years,” he said, adding that, after the two years, the team will be very competitive.

In the fall of 2000, Brownell took over a Bucks team that barely existed. He would have to fill the teams 11 positions with as few as six players. The team went 0-19.

With a full roster the following year, the team went 9-6-1, putting them in second place in the conference. Because the team had so few participants in previous years, they could not enter the tournament. According to Dr. Priscilla Rice, Bucks athletic director, this probationary period is standard practice for any new or reemerging team to test the amount of student support.

Last year, the Centurions went 13-1 during the season and 3-0 in the playoffs. Their only loss came at the hands of Manor, who they later beat in the semifinals.

Brownell takes over a team that won the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference semifinals last year and won the conference championship three of the last five years.

Brownell said coaching a women’s team is different than the co-ed team Bucks fielded last year-there were only three women on the team.

Women, Brownell said, are more strategic, and boys are more physical. “Boys are competitive to a fault,” he said. “Women are more team oriented.”

There is also a difference in the ways the teams are motivated.

“Guys don’t know you care unless you’re on them, girls want to be reasoned with,” Brownell said.