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Warriors Athlete of Week: Folden leading the Warriors in more ways than 1

Brynne Folden scored six goals in a come-from-behind win over Becker.

Girl playing lacrosse
Warrior senior lacrosse player Brynne Folden practices with her teammates Monday. May 9, 2022, in Brainerd
Steve Kohls / Brained Dispatch
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In times of transition, strong leadership is needed.

With its third new coach in four seasons, the Brained Warriors girls’ lacrosse team knows about transitions. But it also knows about strong leadership thanks to senior attacker Brynne Folden.

The three-sports athlete has been a captain in all of her sports this year and she’s using her skills to Brainerd’s advantage
in an 11-8 come-from-behind victory over Becker, May 5, Folden recorded six goals to improve Brainerd’s record to 6-2.

“Brynne has been a great leader on our team,” First-year head coach Mata Agre said. “She’s helped us bring some continuity to our team as they’ve gone through a couple of different head coaches in the past five years. She definitely was one of the ones who reached out to us during the preseason and has helped us lay the foundation for our leadership and what our team wanted to accomplish this year.”

Folden admitted everyone on the team is still new to the sport of lacrosse and everyone is learning. Therefore, having a new coach hasn’t been difficult to adjust to.

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It doesn’t matter what it is. We could be playing a game of rock-paper-scissors. I’ll still want to win
Brynne Folden

Folden describes her leadership style as all-encompassing and all-incorporating. She wants everyone to feel a part of the team and with more than 38 newcomers to the team that’s proved to be an asset.

“She obviously has had that previous experience on every other team she’s been on and has excelled in the leadership and in the athletic role,” Agre said. “She has that winning background and she knows what it takes to win. She’s able to pass that along to our athletes. She is very open to helping everyone and wants to see everyone else succeed.”

In Brainerd’s season-opening victory over the St. Cloud Crush, Folden registered six goals and one assist.

“Her first go-to is to always just go to the net,” Agre said. “She can catch a lot of balls, especially a lot of those 50-50 passes that aren't guaranteed to go, she’ll get a lot of those. And she sees the field really well. She can see when she’s in an iso (isolation) situation and when she can take a player one-on-one. She knows when she takes a player one-on-one she has a high chance of scoring.”

Folden followed the Game one win with a five-goal game against Grand Rapids. The second-year varsity player scored the final two goals, but Brainerd’s rally fell short in the 11-7 loss.

Folden finished with five goals in an 11-7 victory over St. Cloud again on April 29. She added another goal in a loss to Chisago Lakes.

“My expectations for the year were that we were going to have a growing team and we would all be learning stick skills, how to shoot, the basic skills of lacrosse,” Folden said. “But also we were going to put our best effort in at every game and every practice and push ourselves and our teammates to get better.”

Agre said Folden’s hand-eye coordination is a key to her offensive ability. That same skill-set is key to Folden’s other sports tennis and hockey. Folden believes being a multisport athlete adds another dimension to each of the sports she plays.

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One of her biggest strengths might just be her competitiveness.

“Brynne wants to play,” Agre said. “She’s a gamer. She wants to play every single day. She wants to go out there and fight until that last minute. She has the capability to keep up with anybody else on the field.

“There’s a lot of different ways we can use Brynne. At the start of the game, she’s on the circle when we take the draw, which is a huge time for us. Normally, attackers aren’t always on the circle. Mostly it’s midfielders, but she’s able to get the ball straight off the draw and then obviously she’s an attacker and so when we get in that zone she goes straight to the net. She has the capability of finding an opening teammate and getting the ball when she’s open as well.

“Plus, she does a great job of playing defense all the way down into the defensive zone.”

Last season, Folden posted 29 goals and seven assists in her first varsity season. She didn’t get a sophomore season because of COVID-19.

Next season, Folden will take her talents to the University of Minnesota, Duluth to play tennis. Having that plan in place has made this season less stressful.

“She seems a lot less stressed than other seniors around this time,” Agre said. “She’s having a great time playing lacrosse, but she’s determined to have a great season. Not just for her, but for her teammates. You can see that in her play. She goes out there every single day excited and ready to give it her all.”

And she’s hoping to give to others May 16. The Warrior girls’ lacrosse team will be hosting Big Lake at Adamson Field. Game time will be 7 p.m. It will be senior night, but more important to Folden it’s also mental health night. Folden wants a packed stadium and she hopes people donate to help those with mental health issues.

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And then she wants to give all those people something to cheer about.

“I’m just an extremely competitive person,” Folden said. “It doesn’t matter what it is. We could be playing a game of rock-paper-scissors. I’ll still want to win. I just think, overall, my competitive edge brings so much to my game in lacrosse.

“I’m having so much fun this year. I’m comfortable knowing where I’m going to be next year and have my plan so I just get to enjoy the rest of my senior year playing a sport I love.”

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Other notable performances

Olivia Tautges, softball, finished 4-5 with three home runs, two walks, five runs and seven RBIs. She also struck out 11 for the complete game victory over Bemidji.

Ethan DeRosier, boys lacrosse, finished with five goals against Becker.

Jacob Holm, boys lacrosse, finished with four goals against Becker.

Taylor Madison, boys lacrosse, finished with four goals against Becker.

Josie Kappes, softball, went 4-4 with a double, triple and three runs scored against Sauk Rapids.

Andrew Albright, boys track and field, won the shot put and placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and long jump at the Wayzata Relays.

Brynne Folden

Brynne Folden
Brynne Folden
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Sport: Girls lacrosse

Position: Attack

Year: Senior

Age: 18

Height: 5-foot-9

Career highlight: Scoring game-winning goal in Section 8-2A girls hockey final

Other sports: hockey, tennis

Grade-point average: 3.3

Favorite class: Animal sciences

Favorite food: Salmon

Favorite movie: “Miracle on Ice”

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite website or app: TikTok

Favorite restaurant: El Teuila

Future plans: Attend the University of Minnesota, Duluth to student elementary education and play tennis UMD

Favorite athlete: Serena Williams

Parents: Brian and Jodee Folden

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