Tooele High School’s lone senior on the girls soccer team attacks every challenge head on and does it with a positive attitude.
Brindisy Russell, a senior defender for the Lady Buffaloes, operates in the backfield, protecting the goalkeeper and directing traffic. She is the Lady Buffs’ last line of defense against opposing offenses trying to score goals. As the center defender, the challenge to stop opposing forwards falls on her.
“I’m kind of the last hope,” Russell said. “I control the field other than the goalie.”
It’s not the easiest position, and some of Tooele’s opponents in the early going of this season have gotten by to score goals. But Russell doesn’t let it get her down. She fights.
In Tooele’s most recent game against West High School, Russell made a key save that kept the score from getting out of hand. West led the Lady Buffs 2-1 in the second half, and the goal was wide open for a score. THS goalkeeper Emma Garcia came up for a save and hit the ground in the attempt. With the net wide open, Russell came in from the side and cleared the ball away to keep West from extending its lead.
“She’s strong. She’s a very strong leader,” said THS head coach Ruth Alvarez. “She’ll do anything I tell her to do. It’s definitely a necessity for any leader. The girls look up to her, and she’s not afraid to admit when she screws up.”
Alvarez said Russell doesn’t necessarily like to admit when she makes a mistake, but she’s willing to do it and learn how to correct those mistakes going forward. Russell’s humility helps set an example for the other Lady Buffs.
“On the field and off the field she’s always pushing everybody, ‘Do your best. Do your best,’” Alvarez said. “She’s very friendly. She sets the example of care and friendship. If somebody’s down, she’s ready to help pick them up and kind of give them a happier perspective on things.”
And being that happy example is something that Russell enjoys. She doesn’t feel any kind of pressure from being the only senior on the team.
“We’ve been with the team for a while,” she said. “So we’re just all friends.”
Her time playing for the Lady Buffs and for Alvarez have taught her patience and developing a positive attitude when things don’t go as planned.
“It’s been a good experience,” Russell said. “It’s taught me patience, hard work and just to never give up even if you know you’re going to lose.”
Alvarez said the hard work and happy demeanor that Russell has will continue to help her going forward in life.
“I think she’ll be able to handle [life] well,” Alvarez said. “She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She’s definitely got great guidance from her parents and great support from her parents. I think with support, kids can do a lot more than if you don’t have that support. I think anything life hands her she’s going to do great. She’ll be successful anywhere.”
Alvarez said Russell has meant a lot to the girls soccer program with her overall personality.
“Brindy’s a great all-around kid,” she said. “She’s got a lot of responsibilities, and she accepts her responsibilities, which is good. Every coach needs that.”
The soccer field isn’t the only place you can find Russell this year. She’s also on the track team at THS, running the different sprints and specializing in the 400-yard run. After high school, Russell wants to keep playing soccer in college.
“Just soccer anywhere, probably,” she said. “Hopefully.”