Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Becky Brown ’11 began right where she left off in 2009 with a game-winning goal against then-No. 16 Penn State last Friday at Reese Stadium. Brown, the captain of the team, sat down with the News to discuss Yale’s Ivy League title prospects, in-state rivalry and her pursuit of a school record.

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Q The women’s soccer team is facing UConn tonight. Is there any in-state rivalry between your two teams?

A I think it was my sophomore year we played UConn at UConn … They scored in the last second of double overtime to win the game. Thursday is an important game because we don’t only want to be good in our league, we also want to be good nationally. And UConn is a great program, so beating UConn would be an amazing accomplishment, just like beating Penn State.

Q What was the most important thing the team learned from its opening-weekend split against Penn State and Illinois?

A Definitely the most important thing we took away was the fact that we can compete with these high-level teams and that even though our program is not as well-established as Penn State or Illinois, that we shouldn’t be overlooked because of that.

Q How have expectations for you this year shifted based on your performance last year?

A I guess before going into this season, I wasn’t aware of the fact that I’m 14 goals shy of tying the school record for career goals. But now that I know that, it’s kind of nerve-racking, and I feel like people are expecting me to beat the record. I don’t really know what my coaches or other coaches or teammates are expecting out of me.

Q Is it tough playing knowing that other teams are going to key in and focus on you? Does that change your approach at all?

A I always play the same way, even if I’m double-teamed, triple-teamed. Even if that is the case, our team is really well-rounded. All our forwards, all of our midfielders are great attackers. It just depends on the game, who will be the standout player that day.

Q Do you feel the media attention on you has changed now that you are the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year?

A Before this interview, no.

Q Do you think the team has any kinks to work out before taking on Ivy League opponents?

A We have all the potential to win the Ivy League championship, and I think we are the best team in the Ivy League. The only thing that stands in our way, potentially, is our effort on the field. If we put our hearts into every single Ivy League game and everything we have, we’ll definitely win.

Q Are you even worrying about those conference games yet?

A No, we’re definitely taking it one game at a time. We have huge games in front of us, from UConn to Duke to Boston College. They’re all great soccer programs. To worry about Ivy League matches that are five games away would be kind of silly.