Covering the Field: Introducing Brandon O’Connell

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By Sheri Duff

Brandon O’Connell is confidant. “You have to be confident in your skills as a goalie,” noted Champlain Valley Union head boys soccer coach T.J. Mead. “It’s an attribute that Brandon has developed over the years along with his selective memory. It’s impressive that he is a three-year starter in his own right, but as a goalkeeper it’s even more remarkable. Brandon is a great student, is well-respected by his peers, and comes from a great family.”

O’Connell grew up in Williston before his family relocated to Charlotte when he was an eighth grader. His family includes parents Kathy and Brian; older sister Kaitlin, a college student; and a golden retriever named Bodie.

“I have playing soccer for most of my life,” O’Connell informed. “I think I started through the Rec Department in Williston. Around age 11, I began playing competitively for Far Post Soccer Club. Three years later I made the switch to the Nordic Soccer Club where I still play.”

A starter since sophomore year, O’Connell discussed his strengths as captain: “As a leader, my teammates depended on me to be calm and composed. I’ve become a professional at composure.” Mead agreed using those same accolades to describe his senior captain. “The guys looked to Brandon for his composure and calming influence. He has confidence in his own skills, and he should, he has honed his craft. As goalie, Brandon sees the entire field very well and uses that to his advantage. He’s especially talented at distributing the ball and shot stopping,” Mead added. You could say that again. Over the 18-game season, O’Connell finished with 14 shutouts, two losses, and only six goals scored against.

“My greatest achievement? That’s easy,” O’Connell said. “Winning the soccer state championship last year was my proudest moment. After losing two years ago, winning a title was something I looked forward to my entire soccer career.”

A varsity basketball player, O’Connell also enjoys tennis, snowboarding, and white water rafting, his Graduation Challenge Project. “After a 16-day whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River this summer, my decision to teach others how to whitewater raft was an easy one,” he commented. “I’ve got some great photos of our trip that I plan to show during my presentation.”

After CVU graduation, O’Connell is looking to pursue his interest in business and would like to continue to play soccer. “I’m considering Skidmore and Bentley as possible places to play soccer. But I am also looking at the University of Connecticut as an option.” he added. With O’Connell’s combination of calm, composure, and confidence there’s no doubt his college experience will be a highly successful one.

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