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|Warhawks' Browne wins national championship|
For the second time in as many seasons sophomore Kelly Browne of the ULM soccer team has claimed a national championship while competing with her club team, the Colorado Rush Nike.
Browne, a starting central midfielder for a Rush team based out of Littleton, Colo. and loaded with some of the top young college talent in the nation, led her team to a regional championship earlier in the summer and an automatic berth into the national championship pool.
Playing at Citizens Bank Field at Progin Park in Lancaster, Mass., Browne helped her team claim back-to-back national championships with a 4-2 double-overtime win over Illinois Eclipse Select in the finals.
"We are very proud of Kelly for representing herself and our program on the national stage," ULM head coach Stacy Lamb said. "Last year she won a national championship with [Warhawk teammate] Emily LyBarger right before camp and that helped her begin her college career playing at a high level. Now entering her sophomore season, going back-to-back can only help her that much more."
After winning the first game of pool play the Rush was defeated by Eclipse Select, 2-1, in their second game. Browne and her teammates advanced to the championship game after another win in pool play and avenged the loss to the Eclipse with the championship victory.
Browne becomes the first player in ULM history to boast a resume with two club national championships to her credit. Last season, the Fort Collins, Colo., native, and fellow sophomore LyBarger claimed the national championship with their U18 Rush squad. Senior Raydan Phillips also won a club national championship before joining the Warhawks for her freshman campaign.
"We can't wait to get Kelly and her teammates back on campus and start preparing for the upcoming season," Lamb said. "I really believe that she is going to elevate her play and emerge as one of the leaders on our team as a sophomore. She sets a good example with her hard work and discipline and will really help elevate the level of play of our team early."
Browne and her ULM teammates will back on campus to report for preseason camp starting on Friday, Aug. 7. The Warhawks open the 2009 campaign at the ULM Soccer Complex on Saturday, Aug. 22 against Belhaven at 4 p.m.