Brianna Blair awarded MVP for Atlantic East playoffs

By Tyler Seabrook
November 15, 2019

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When it comes to sports, people always ask about who significantly stood out in the competition. This could be anyone who participated in the game. It could be an offensive player or could be a defensive player. These types of players are equally important to how the competition is played out.

Brianna Blair, junior early childhood and special education major, was just awarded the most valuable player of the Atlantic East playoffs. This is her third year with the women’s soccer team.

Blair is from Haverford, Pennsylvania, where she attended Haverford High School. Before committing to play soccer in college she played for the club team 1776, based in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Brianna Blair holding the MVP award plaque for the Atlantic East playoffs. Photo by Maria Hagan.

The overall opinion is that it was the best season that the team had while she was with the team. It shows because the women’s soccer team broke the record of wins a team ever had. 

Blair’s thoughts on the Atlantic East playoffs were that the team gained confidence after learning that they were given the third seed. That confidence was clear as they won each of their games by a score of 2-0.

“Our best game was against Wesley in a semi-final game,” Blair said. “Wesley beat us in the regular season and we came out looking for revenge.”

Blair’s strengths are her height and the ability to perform headers, as well as her talent for long-distance throw-ins.

Blair was really surprised to have earned the MVP of the Atlantic East playoffs, because it usually goes to an offensive player and she is a defensive player.

Coaches’ thoughts

During this soccer season, assistant coach Brittany Runyen’s impressions of Blair were that she was developing into a true leader for the team to look up to. This played into the way Blair would arrive at every single practice or game.

Runyen thought that Blair’s strength by the end of the season was her leadership ability. Her intensity in games set the standard for all of her teammates. 

“Brianna has been the centerpiece of so many of the team’s wins this year,” Runyen said. “So it wasn’t surprising that she earned the MVP award.”

Blair getting ready to deliver a powerful pass to a teammate, with an opponent on her tracks. Photo by Harry Purdy.

Runyen said that Blair’s teammates were all supportive when she got recognized as the MVP of the playoffs.

Head coach Ken Prothero believes Blair’s play during the entire season was MVP caliber. He also praised Blair’s ability to shut down her entire side of the field defensively while contributing to the team’s offense as well. 

The area that coach Prothero noticed in Blair’s play this year was her ability to consistently play at a high level for an entire 90-minute match. This shows due to her being one of the captains on the team. 

“She constantly joins the attack and can often be found in the offensive third of the field,” Prothero said. “She is a big target on corners and set plays.”

Teammates’ thoughts

Madison Rooney, sophomore marketing major, provided her thoughts on Blair’s season. 

The overall message that Rooney wanted to share about Blair is that she cares about each of her teammates and wants each one to excel. 

“So when Bri got the recognition she worked so hard for, I cried,” Rooney said. “I was just so proud of her.”

Maria Hagan, junior early childhood and special education major, was proud to comment on Blair’s season, saying she was very proud of her season this year.

“Bri deserves this award because of her constant devotion to our team and bettering herself,” Hagan said.

Blair is shielding the ball away from an opponent. Photo by Harry Purdy.

Jess Ruk, freshmen criminology major, provided her remarks on Blair‘s play this year. Ruk’s thought is that Blair played 110 percent and that was the final result for being awarded MVP of the Atlantic East playoffs.

“She is a leader both on and off the field,” Ruk said. “We can go to her for anything.”

Rebekah Cunningham, freshmen defender on the team, provided her reactions to Blair’s play this year.  Cunningham echoes her teammate’s response to how Blair is there for each other.

Cunningham also thought that Blair played really well in the championship game against Marywood.

Cunningham said, “She really deserved it.” 

 

Tyler Seabrook

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