Brooke Ryan has been around the game of soccer her entire life. She started playing when she was 4, but before that she attended her two older brothers’ games.
“My mom joked with me that I would learn to dribble before I could walk,” Ryan says. “It was just a natural choice because we were a very soccer-oriented family.”
She began playing with a traveling team at age 7, but the first real competitive team she played with was the KFC Pumas when she was 12. She went on to help the team win six consecutive state championships in Kansas.
“Playing for the Pumas was where I got my passion for the game,” she says. “We were a very successful team and no matter how much success we had the year before, we were always trying to do better and weren’t complacent.”
In high school, Ryan played for soccer power Olathe East, helping the team to a state championship in 2004. She was a second team all-state selection as well as an all-Sunflower and all-Olathe selection as a senior.
Ryan came to Missouri S&T looking to help turn around a women’s soccer program that went 7-25-6 in the two years prior to her arrival. In the three years since, the Lady Miners have gone 17-33-4 and have increased their win total each season. Last season S&T won seven games, the most since 2003, and narrowly missed a spot in the conference tournament.
Ryan believes that with the talent the Lady Miners have returning this season they can record the program’s first winning season since 2000 and get to the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.