The Oregon girls soccer program has been one of the best in the state over the last decade. When Nelson Brownell took over as head coach in place of long time coach Julie Grutzner at the start of this season, the Panthers haven’t skipped a beat.
Eight games into the season and Oregon has eight wins. What’s just as impressive is they have yet to allow a goal scored on them during that stretch.
“We’re all friends and this year we are really cohesive. Our bench goes really deep. A lot of players get on the field, and it’s not just one person scoring all of the time,” said senior captain and member of the defense Sydney McKee.
The Panthers are also finding success on offense this season. Oregon is outscoring their opponents 59-0.
“Our defense over the past four years has always been strong. Last year we did struggle with scoring, our offense has stepped up a bit,” said senior captain, midfielder Maddy Swartzmiller.
Last season the Panthers lost in the state title game to Brookfield Central. It was also Grutzner’s last game before moving out of state with her family while her husband took a new job.
Grutzner’s departure opened the door for Brownell, one of Grutzner’s assistant to take the head coaching role.
“I know the program, I’ve known the parents the players for the past four years so it’s been a pretty easy transition so far,” said Brownell in his fifth season with the Oregon soccer program. He spent three as an assistant under Grutzner.
Senior captain, midfielder Katie Eisele said, “he’s someone we feel comfortable talking too. We see him as a coach, but he’s also someone I can go talk to.”
The Panthers host Madison Edgewood on Friday, the winner will likely win the Badger South Conference.