In almost every sport, teams will try to shut down the leading scorer, or biggest threat, on the opposite team. Here at CNU, Jalon Brown draws this kind of attention from his opponents; he has seven goals and four assists on the year, as well as 25 career goals for the Captains. He is still able to be productive and score goals despite being flocked by defenders almost every time he touches the ball.
“The coaches tell me every game now, at this point, you know that their game plan is to stop you,” Brown said, “you still have to figure out a way to get open, and they tell me that big players show up in big games.” As a junior on a team full of underclassmen, Brown is now looked to as a leader for the younger players. He has learned from his teammate, and longtime friend, junior midfielder Alec Faulkner. The two played club together in High School, and “we have talked about it before, he has helped me understand what it is to be a captain, and set an example for the team,” Brown commented.
As a freshman, Brown played midfield, but was moved up to forward at the beginning of last year. It was clearly a good move for the team, as Brown is able to put pressure on opposing defenses and get shots on goal. However, the mentality, according to Brown, is different when playing farther up the field. “Before I get the ball, I will have an idea of where the defenders are, which helps me make my decision for when I get the ball,” Brown said. “If I turn and I have five or ten yards, I most likely will try to take advantage of what they are giving me.” If you have ever been to a soccer game at Captains Field, it’s very clear that number 4 has tremendous foot-skills and quickness. With a 4-4-2 setup, it’s extremely important for forwards to be able to find open space and handle the ball at their feet. However, even with this traditionally defensive look, the Captains have been able to score 20 goals through nine games. Brown tells us that “the outside midfielders fly forward a lot, especially if I come back to the middle of the field to get the ball.”
Brown will look to continue contributing to the team’s strong start. The team has won five in a row, including a big road win at Roanoke, in which Brown notched a Penalty Kick in the final minutes to secure a 2-0 win. Although he has 18 points on the season, Brown told me that he isn’t striving to break records or pad the stats. “You know, I don’t have a goal in terms of numbers, I just want to make an impact every game, I want to be contributing to the game at all times,” said Brown. However you look at it, Brown is a threat to score whenever he gets the ball, and as his opponents try to shut him down, his mentality will still be the same – help the team win however he can.