Brum­met to play at Old Do­min­ion

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports By BILL GATES bgates@ches­

Matt Brum­met can be an in­spi­ra­tion to all those young pre-kinder­garten age kids who stum­ble out on the fields for their first taste of rec league soc­cer.

Brum­met started with the East­field pro­gram when he was three years old. This fall, he’ll be play­ing for the Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity men’s soc­cer team.

“Matt is an ex­am­ple of how you can go fur­ther, just from play­ing rec soc­cer,” said his father, John Brum­met, owner of Jock City on Ger­man Hill Road and who coached Matt with the East­field pro­gram.

Matt, who grad­u­ated from Arch­bishop Cur­ley last spring, chose Old Do­min­ion from among six NCAA Di­vi­sion I schools re­cru­ti­ing him for soc­cer.

The other five were Bel­mont, Port­land, Drexel, Tem­ple and the Vir­ginia Mil­i­tary In­sti­tute.

He also had “a ton of of­fers” from Di­vi­sion III schools, such as Get­tys­burg, Ly­coming, Bethany (W.Va.) and Kenyon Col­lege.

De­spite fin­ish­ing with a los­ing record last sea­son (6-9-2), Old Do­min­ion has a strong soc­cer his­tory.

The Mon­archs (all-time record: 458-281-94) have reached the NCAA tour­na­ment 11 times in the past 14 years, with two ap­pear­ances in the Sweet 16.

Com­pet­ing in Con­fer­ence USA, Old Do­min­ion has won six con­fer­ence tour­na­ment ti­tles and five con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son ti­tles. Its most re­cent ti­tle was in 2014.

Thir­teen Monarch play­ers have earned All-Amer­i­can sta­tus, and 11 for­mer Mon­archs have been se­lected in the Ma­jor League Soc­cer draft.

Matt’s goal is to add to that lat­ter num­ber.

“Af­ter col­lege, I would like to go play in Europe,” he said. “But I would def­i­nitely like to get se­lected in the MLS draft.”

Matt chose Old Do­min­ion from the schools re­cruit­ing him be­cause of its soc­cer back­ground.

“I wanted to play for a pow­er­house pro­gram,” he said. “Old Do­min­ion has been a top 25 team in the coun­try. And it has a good record of bring­ing play­ers in, and pre­par­ing them to move on.

“The school can help me take my ca­reer to the next level, by play­ing against top com­pe­ti­tion. And its fa­cil­i­ties are ranked among the top 10 in the coun­try. It was hard to pass it up.”

The Mon­archs have eight let­ter­men re­turn­ing, and Brum­met is one of 14 new play­ers.

Two of Old Do­min­ion’s top five lead­ing scor­ers re­turn, but they ac­counted for only six goals last year.

Brum­met scored 15 goals for Arch­bishop Cur­ley last sea­son, which led the MIAA-A Con­fer­ence in scor­ing.

“I feel I can make a strong con­tri­bu­tion [at Old Do­min­ion], maybe start a few games,” Brum­met said. “I think I’ll get a de­cent amount of play­ing time off of the bench, like 45-50 min­utes a game.”

Matt be­gan play­ing for the East­field rec pro­gram when he was three years old. At age 12, he started play­ing for the East­field Arse­nal club team.

“It was im­por­tant to play for the lo­cal team,” Matt said of East­field. “I saw my older brother [John] play, and it came nat­u­rally to me. I had good mo­tor skills, and the more I played, the more fun I had. It just took off.

“East­field helped me grow as a player. If you work hard, play hard, put ev­ery­thing into the game, you’ll be seen and can go far. It also helped me un­der­stand the role I had, and how I could help con­trib­ute to a larger pro­gram like Old Do­min­ion.”

Matt even­tu­ally moved on to the Bal­ti­more Bays Soc­cer Club, coached by Adam Mizell.

With the Bays, Matt played in sev­eral col­lege show­case tour­na­ments — the Dis­ney Col­lege Show­case, four years in a row; the San Diego Cup, two years in a row — and played in the na­tional tour­na­ment in Las Ve­gas in 2016.

“Coach Mizell was a huge part of Matt be­ing re­cruited,” John Brum­met Sr. said.

John Brum­met Jr., who cur­rently at­tends Stephen­son Univer­sity and plays club lacrosse, played soc- cer for Pat­ap­sco. But Matt was re­cruited for soc­cer by sev­eral MIAA schools and opted to at­tend Cur­ley.

Loy­ola and Spauld­ing also re­cruited Matt for soc­cer.

“[At an MIAA school] I could get the ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pet­i­tive soc­cer,” Matt said. “There was in­tense prepa­ra­tion ev­ery day, learn­ing dif­fer­ent styles, and it helped hum­ble me.

“It also helped me pre­pare aca­dem­i­cally for col­lege.”

Matt was a four-year var­sity starter at striker for Cur­ley and coach Barry Stitz, and helped the Fri­ars twice reach the MIAA cham­pi­onship game. His ju­nior year, Cur­ley lost to McDonogh 2-1 in the fi­nals, and lost to Calvert Hall 3-2 in the fi­nals dur­ing his se­nior year.

He was also the Fri­ars’ team cap­tain.

At Old Do­min­ion, Matt will ma­jor in Ex­er­cise Sci­ence be­fore mov­ing into Phys­i­cal Ther­apy, with the goal of even­tu­ally be­com­ing an ath­letic trainer work­ing with a pro­fes­sional team.

The Monarch’s sea­son starts on Au­gust 25 with a home game against Ap­palachian State. The Mon­archs played an ex­hi­bi­tion game at Vir­ginia (ranked 13th in the pre­sea­son poll) on Tues­day.

Old Do­min­ion is lo­cated in Nor­folk, Va. None of its road games will be any closer to the Bal­ti­more area.

“He stud­ies the game like no one else,” John Brum­met said. “It’s what he does when he doesn’t have the ball where you see his knowl­edge of the game.

“In his last club game, he passed the ball off, then went away from the play. By do­ing so, he took two de­fend­ers out of the play, be­cause he was be­ing dou­ble-teamed. That opened it up for some­one else to score.”

East­field res­i­dent Matthew Brum­met is ex­pected to have an im­pact as a fresh­man for the Old Do­min­ion soc­cer team.

Matt Brum­met started his soc­cer ca­reer with the East­field recre­ation pro­gram.

Matt Brum­met was a four-year starter at Arch­bishop Cur­ley, and led the MIAA A Con­fer­ence in scor­ing as a se­nior.

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