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Brull inks with Pratt

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

If you had asked her at the beginning of the month, Hays High School senior Alexa Brull likely would have said she wasn't going to play college soccer.

But after the Hays High girls' soccer team wrapped up play at the McPherson Invitational in the first week of April, Brull received a Facebook message from the assistant women's soccer coach at Pratt Community College.

"She said she watched me at the McPherson Tournament. I wasn't sure about it at first," Brull said. "But her and their head coach gave me a lot of confidence that I can actually do it. I had a couple of other offers but I picked Pratt because I really liked the small size and I liked the community a lot."

Brull made it official Monday in the Hays High cafeteria, where she signed to play for the Pratt Beavers next season.

One of the key veterans on a relatively young Hays High squad this year, the senior forward has scored three goals for the 9-2 Indians this season, including two at Junction City on April 14, a 5-2 win.

With fellow senior Wendy Zimmerman sidelined with a foot injury, Brull has been a vital leader up front to freshmen forwards Talyn Kleweno and Tressa Becker, who lead the team in scoring.

"Alexa has made big goals this season: the tying goal against Junction City and the go-ahead 3-2 goal over there," Hays High soccer coach Saul Hernandez said.

"It just shows she never quits. Her nerves stay under control and she just plays. I think the freshmen feed off of that and keeps them calm."

Brull, who will play defense at Pratt, admitted her lack of confidence almost prevented her from playing soccer collegiately. She had a few offers from bigger schools, but their size and level of play intimidated her.

But after visiting Pratt and talking with Beaver head coach Jerrid Schicke, Brull finally felt comfortable enough to give college soccer a try.

"It's really late in the recruiting process. I was really nervous if I was going to get a spot," Brull said. "I think my coaches (at Hays High) and the Pratt coaches helped me get the confidence. It was basically I just didn't have enough confidence and didn't think I could do well ... I think it will make me more confident in myself as a player."

Brull said she would be open to continuing her soccer career after Pratt, but as of now plans to return to Hays to attend North Central Kansas Technical College, where she will pursue a degree in nursing.

She wants to stay in the Hays area long term and said location was a major factor in choosing Pratt over the larger, and often farther away, schools that also offered her.

"She's worked hard since she was eight years old. We went down to Pratt and absolutely fell in love with the coach," Brull's mother, Melinda Brull, said. "I'm very happy. She did kind of toss it around in her mind whether or not she wanted to play. But this coach, this small school, is going to be a great fit and I think it's going to be a really enjoyable year for her."

Brull is the third college signee from the Hays High girls' soccer team this season. She joins defender Reagan Kaiser, who is headed to Rockhurst University, and midfielder Lacey Pfannenstiel, a Bethel College commit.