For as long as he can remember, Lake Washington High School senior Casey Brine has loved soccer.
And in the fall, the center-back defender will be tackling a new position: college athlete. Brine, who will be graduating in June, has signed on to play soccer at Bryant University, a private, Rhode Island-based institution known for its business school.
Brine has been playing soccer for nearly 15 years. The Kirkland native has played the sport almost interminably since he was 4 years old, never losing interest along the way.
“I have a passion for it,” he said.
Although Brine took a brief break a few years ago because of an injury, soccer has always been a major part of his life. He’s played recreationally, at the club level (he’s currently on Bothell’s Greater Seattle Surf team) and, since he was 14, for his high school.
Lake Washington varsity boys soccer coach Rod Smith has trained Brine for the past four years and considers the student to be a standout among his peers.
“Casey has always been a real student of the game,” Smith said. “He really focuses on the how and the why.”
Smith added that Brine has a great work ethic on and off the field and that one of the reasons he’s been so successful as a player has to do with his communication abilities during games.
Impressed with his player’s abilities, Smith gave Brine a captaincy position at the end of last year. Though Smith said he usually waits to offer such a title, Brine displayed a kind of leadership that could not be ignored.
“That’s the kind of player he is,” Smith said, adding that he’s only given captaincy early twice in his coaching career.
During his time playing for the Kangs, Brine said he has made a lot of great memories, with one of his favorites being the first goal he made as a varsity player last year. But one of the things he likes most about playing for his school has to do with the connections he’s made.
“I really enjoy high school soccer,” he said. “It’s like a family.”
Brine is excited about what’s waiting ahead. He intends to study finance, accounting or business administration at Bryant, which are fields he became interested in due to his father’s involvement in business.
He’s also curious to see what it will be like to play in college.
“I’ve always wanted to go to a school where I don’t know a lot of people,” Brine said, adding that he’s looking forward to meeting his teammates and forming friendships in the process.
“I don’t think many high school athletes could do it,” Smith said about playing soccer while in college. “But Casey can.”
Seamus Purcell, the head coach at Bryant, is similarly enthusiastic about Brine. When considering him for a position on the team, Purcell was struck by the senior’s “toughness” and defensive capabilities, especially in one-on-one scenarios.
Like Smith, Purcell also admired Brine’s leadership.
“Casey is a very talented soccer player with a very high soccer IQ,” Purcell said. “He has great leadership and is the ultimate team player.”
After graduating from Bryant, Brine hopes soccer will remain in his life. Knowing his future work schedule could potentially be busy, he aspires to at least play recreationally.
As of right now though, Brine is focused on his future. Brine said coaches Mike Washington and Michael Duncan, DM Athletics and Greater Seattle Surf coach Hugo Alcaraz have all been key in helping him get to where he is now.
He additionally wanted to thank his parents for their support over the years.
“They’ve always had faith in me,” he said.
If Brine were to give advice to younger athletes interested in pursuing sports on the college level, he would urge them to keep working toward their goal.
“If you want it, you can do it,” he said.