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Brown helped CdM stay on top

Daily Pilot High School Girls’ Athlete of the Week

Junior midfielder has been a spark to Sea Kings, who won their fourth straight PCL title Thursday in dramatic fashion.

February 14, 2014|By Matt Szabo
  • Despite missing three weeks with a concussion this season, Shelby Brown still had a team-leading seven assists and tied for the team lead in goals with five.
Despite missing three weeks with a concussion this season,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Corona del Mar High junior Shelby Brown is not the kind of girls' soccer player to boast about her accomplishments.

Things got a little bit testy on Twitter after the Sea Kings won two games in dramatic fashion this week. They beat Beckman, 2-1, on Tuesday after a Patriots penalty kick went over the goal on the final play of the game. Then on Thursday, they rallied to stun Northwood, 3-2, and claim their fourth straight outright Pacific Coast League title.

Some of the more vocal CdM players got into it a bit on the social media site with players from the other teams. Apparently, high school girls like to talk. Who knew?

"I didn't see all of it," Brown said. "I saw some of it. I didn't take part in it at all."

But the low-key junior midfielder is the reason why her teammates can boast about taking the crown for another year. Brown may be relatively short, at 5 feet 4, but she put CdM on her back in the latter part of league.

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In the Beckman game she scored the Sea Kings' first goal, in the 58th minute off a free kick from the right side. In the Northwood game, she had a hand in all three goals, with a goal and two assists.

She assisted senior forward Miranda Stiver on CdM's first goal in the 65th minute, cutting the host Timberwolves' lead in half. Then, it was Brown's strike into the upper part of the net that tied the score at 2 in the 70th minute. In stoppage time, Brown then assisted freshman Hunter Gantos on the game-winning goal.

These were huge plays with the league title on the line. CdM (11-5-4) had to complete the stunning comeback at Northwood to claim the league crown, probably the most difficult one of the five that CdM has earned under Coach Bryan Middleton.

It's because of Brown that the Sea Kings go into next week's CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs with momentum. She missed three weeks with a concussion prior to league play, yet still has a team-best seven assists and is tied with Stiver for the team lead with five goals. She credits her first club coach with Newport Beach-based Slammers FC, Greg Baker, who only coached Brown for a little more than a year but obviously made an impression.

"[Baker] really taught me all that I know about shooting," Brown said. "You get the form down and just practice it."

And, on a CdM team that relies a substantial amount on set pieces to score goals, Brown has been delivering.

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