Oct. 24, 2013
When the women's soccer team starts its daily 4:15 p.m. practice, Brittany Pfaff is always one of the first players out on the field, leading the pack. When you are considered to be one of the best players in your conference, it can be hard to remain humble.
As captain of the team entering her senior year, Pfaff has found a way to stay grounded through her four years at Siena. The Charlotte, Vt., native is enjoying one of the greatest single seasons in program history and currently ranks amongst the national leaders with 28 points and 12 goals through her first 17 matches.
Despite all of her achievements and success so far this season, Pfaff's road to success has not always been easy. She got off to a fantastic start as a freshman, emerging as one of the top performers on a team that won its first-ever MAAC Championship. In her first three collegiate matches she scored five goals totaling 10 points and scored two game-winning goals. Pfaff was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, but as many young players do, she hit a learning curve going into her sophomore season.
"Coming in freshman year you don't know what to expect," Pfaff stated. "We had a really great team but I had to find my spot."
Heading into year two head coach Steve Karbowski moved Pfaff from an outside midfield position to striker, which, at first, she struggled getting accustomed to.
"During the transition I really got lost, but I practiced hard and gained a lot of respect for people who play that position," Pfaff says.
Through the four years, Pfaff says that she and her fellow seniors have learned from their struggles and gotten better. The Saints have worked hard and benefited from some of their early hardships, and it has motivated them even more.
Working harder has been beneficial to Pfaff and her success. Her work ethic is next to no one and she treats playing soccer as her job.
"I like to make sure I'm working as hard as possible," Pfaff adds. "It's not about personal goals, it's about my job on the team."
With her improvements and play this season, she is a contender for MAAC Offensive Player of the Year. About potentially winning the honor she says, "Would mean that I did what I needed to for the team. I didn't do it alone and I did not score goals alone. My team helped me along the way and the personal part of it is just a bonus."
Karbowski, who has coached the Saints for 15 years says, "Brittany is always leading the pack. She is fast and fit and although she is ranked nationally, scoring hasn't changed her. She is one of the few players that says thank you after practice."
Pfaff says that everything clicked for her during the Saints' spring season when the team rallied back to win against Holy Cross.
"That's when I knew that we seniors could take this team to the next level," she said. Ever since that match, Pfaff has brought a new approach to the game she loves and says she is having fun on the field.
"What matters to me the most on the field is me doing my job. As long as our team is playing the best enjoying the game, I can't ask for anything more. We have had some tough losses but we remain competitive," says Pfaff.
Taking the leadership torch, Pfaff has been pushing her team in practice to work harder. She and fellow senior captain Taylor D'Alfonso convinced the team prior to the season to strive to be the best and set the team's bar higher.
Pfaff's attributes her competitive instincts to her sister Ashley who played soccer at Middlebury College. Pfaff says Ashley is a big role model in her life and one of the reasons why she decided to play soccer.
Off the field, Pfaff is a psychology major who aspires to be a guidance counselor and work with teens. She is planning to attend graduate school but first wants to see what opportunities soccer has for her after she graduates.
"This year has been awesome so far, win or lose, I have had a great time with this team. It is a family," Pfaff says.
Pfaff and the Saints are looking forward to the upcoming MAAC Championships in Florida and ultimately want to become the first team in program history to not only win a MAAC title, but also to win a First Round match in the NCAA Women's College Cup.