Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

How Texas soccer’s Arianna Brothers’ family, teammates helped her overcome challenges

Skyler Sharp
Freshman Arianna Brothers runs with the ball down the field on Oct. 8, 2023 at Texas’ game against Iowa State.

When Texas soccer player Arianna Brothers was only five years old, her father showed her and her sister various YouTube videos showcasing the top soccer programs in the nation. Now she can say she plays for one of those programs.

“It’s actually kind of cool. I think about it a lot. It seems not that long ago that he was showing me that and now that I’m in it, it’s actually pretty fun,” Brothers said. “He would show me schools like Texas and Tennessee, and it was always southern schools. And so it’s really awesome being in an environment that I once saw on YouTube and wanted to be around.”

Earning the chance to play Division Ⅰ soccer was already a daunting task, but for then 13 year old Brothers, things took a sharp turn when she suffered a back injury. A bilateral fracture would leave her off the field for a year and a half.

Although she had to watch from the sidelines, Brothers’ injury and the experiences that came with it would end up shaping the rest of her career. 

“There were a lot of setbacks during that, and obviously in a year and a half, I’m gonna have a lot of time to reflect and think about what my future is going to look like,” Brothers said. “It was difficult, but it was also helpful at the same time because I got to learn about the game more and I got to develop my skills mentally for the game.”

However, it wasn’t just the mental aspect that allowed Brothers to come back strong, but her family as well. What was already a strong foundation became even stronger when Brothers looked to her family for support.

“They took me to every single PT session. They took me to any type of back doctor I could go to,” Brothers said. “They made sure I was on top of everything I needed to be on top of because it was a very painful injury.”

With her family at her side, Brothers eventually made her comeback. Climbing the ranks of youth soccer, Brothers earned a spot in the U.S. under-17 Youth National Team provisional roster in 2022 after verbally committing to Texas. 

Now an official Longhorn, Brothers is thriving. As a true freshman, she played in 19 games while starting in five from the midfield position. She also scored a goal in a 7-0 thumping of Stephen F. Austin last season.

“My teammates on the field were so excited and my parents were calling me after. There was a huge family group chat with everybody in the family and they were all texting in it,” Brothers said. “I definitely felt the support.” 

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Brothers moved to Austin at the start of last summer to get acclimated to the new environment. What might have posed an obstacle to her became a welcoming experience.

“It was a nice environment to come to as a Washingtonian. Everyone was very inviting. I was excited to be challenged every single day,” Brothers said. “They’ll hold me accountable and I think everybody on the team is at the point where we can just talk to each other in a way where we can hold each other accountable.”

The sense of community and reinforcement that Brothers receives from both her family and teammates has granted her an environment where she can grow.

“My parents and my teammates really grounded me. It can be difficult being far from home,” Brothers said. “They help me stay grounded, help me stay centered and allow myself to thrive.”

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