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Freshman forward helps drive Cougars to strong start

Lutheran St. Charles freshman forward Bradie Edelen has been quite productive with the ball around the goal this spring helping the Cougars get off to an outstanding 8-2 start this spring. [Jonathan Duncan photo]

Lutheran St. Charles’ Brady Edelen is a player that opposing soccer teams will be seeing a lot of the next four seasons but dreading every time they have to take the field against her and the Cougars.

Edelen, a freshman forward, has been the go-to scorer for the Cougars in the first three weeks of the season, scoring 11 goals with five assists and five game-winning goals. She is also one of the top 15 scorers in the area.

Edelen’s strong performance around the goal box is a big reason Lutheran has started off at 8-2 entering this week.

“She’s a goal scorer, which is hard to find and she has done really well for us so far,” Lutheran St. Charles coach Mike Willhite said. “We knew she was going to be a good little player for us because we saw her in summer camp, but she came in and she exceeded our expectations.”

On the field, Edelen uses her speed and ball skills to create shots as well as help set her teammates up for goals.

Edelen’s start has been a pleasant surprise and she has enjoyed being able to help the team so much early in the season.

“I knew I was just going to try to play hard and have success but I didn’t it was going be that much [success early],” Edelen said. “It’s been a lot of fun and the team is really having a lot of fun too.”

Edelen, who plays club soccer for the Missouri Rush in the offseason, said that simply having an all-out effort every time she touches the ball, whether it’s looking to score or set up a teammate, has been key to her success so far.

“I just try to go as fast as I can and try my hardest,” Edelen said.

Willhite also credited Edelen’s field vision and ability as a playmaker that helps makes teammates like Allison Murray [nine goals], Emily Engelhardt and Abi Freund excel on both ends of the field.

“She knows how to put the ball in the back of the net, which is obviously a huge strength of hers, but she reads the game so well and sets her teammates up for success,” Willhite said.

While she has had a prominent hand in her team’s early success, Eddeln points to the team’s cohesiveness as the biggest factor that has helped her and the Cougars thrive on the pitch this spring.

“I think just us working together and passing as a team, and we pretty well know where each [one of us] going to be from our work in practice, and that helps,” Edelen said.

Willhite said the team is well blended as a unit.

“We have a great mix of leadership, of returning players with a strong senior class, and we’ve also got the new freshmen and sophomores that are coming in and helping elevate our whole program overall,” Willhite said. “They really all are fighting for each other.”

Edelen is not focused on numbers. Instead, she’s looking to simply get better and help her team get better as the season goes on.

“I just want to keep working to get better [this year] and help our team get better and see where we go,” Edelen said.

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