Kristoffer Brown snags national Player of the Week honors


Aaron Draper/Chico State Athletics

Brown scoring a goal against Holy Names during his first start on Sept. 11.

At the beginning of the week, sophomore midfielder Kristoffer Brown was still hoping for his first collegiate start. By the end, he was taking home the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week honors.

Netting himself four goals and an assist in the three games last week, Brown put on multiple performances worthy of recognition.

“Last week was my favorite memory playing soccer, I’ve never done something as great as that,” Brown said.

Growing up Brown always wanted to play soccer at a high level.

“I’ve been playing since I was about four or five years old, I have always loved the game and had a passion for it,” Brown said.

Brown didn’t come from a family with a soccer background, as he was the first player to play soccer at the college level in his family.

“I don’t really come from a soccer family, my grandpa is from Ireland so they played a form of Irish soccer called Gaelic Football,” he said.

This never stopped his family from supporting him. 

“My parents have been nothing but helpful during my career,” Brown said. “My dad and mom are the biggest supporters I have, always telling me words of encouragement if I get down.”

It’s been a long road for him to get here. Coming into his freshman year, he suffered a broken foot and was forced to redshirt, which is when a student can practice with their team but not play in games to save a year of eligibility.

“It really sucked, I was really excited to come in and wanted to make an impact my freshman year, I even had one of those scooters you had to push yourself on,” Brown said. “It helped keep me grounded and think about things in a bigger picture.”

Brown dribbling away from defenders against Cal Poly Humboldt. Photo by Aaron Draper/Chico State Athletics

After rehabbing for a year, Brown’s second season was taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic. It didn’t stop him from getting better any way he could.

“This team is like a brotherhood, everyone helps each other and pushes each other,” he said.

One player Brown specifically mentioned was his roommate and teammate, junior midfielder Noah Ross. 

“When we go to the WREC to get touches we are doing the same thing over and over again, every time I work out with him we’re getting 1,000 touches each,” Ross said. “Having someone right next to me to be able to push me to be the best I can be is awesome.”

Last year, Brown landed his first college soccer appearance, playing in 15 of the Wildcat’s 18 games. Despite playing in most of the games, Brown wanted more and looked ahead eagerly for his first start.

In 2022, Brown saw no action during the team’s trip to Washington in late August.

“I was kind of upset about that, but I had to keep my head down and keep doing what I believe I can do,” Brown said.

On Sept. 8, Brown came into the game against the at-the-time 3-0 Dominican team. After 51 minutes of play, Brown secured the 26th hat trick in school history, leading the team to a 3-0 win on the road. Only three days later Brown earned his first career start and tacked on another goal and an assist against Holy Names University.

However, individual play isn’t the first thing on Brown’s mind, as he was more excited that the team had a good week.

“I’m always just focused on my specific role, I try to not worry about starting or playing time because it takes away focus from the important things in the game,” Brown said.

It has been quite the turnaround for him this year, from scoring only one goal and one assist last year to currently being the team leader for goals scored entering CCAA conference play. 

“It definitely has been fun to see Kris develop into a better player and work his way into the starting lineup, seeing how he works off and on the pitch really inspires me to push myself even harder,” Ross said.

The Wildcats are currently 4-2-2, with their next game on Sunday vs San Francisco State.  

“I really am just doing everything I can to help the team and get us into a position to make the playoffs,” Brown said. “The way the conference is shaping up I definitely think we have a shot.”

The Wildcats will return to University Stadium on Sept. 30, facing off against Cal Poly Pomona at 7 p.m., with free entry for students. Come and support them as they make a playoff push.  

Jackson Elrod can be reached at [email protected] and at @jacksonelrod13 on Twitter.