NEUNKIRCH, Switzerland – University of Colorado soccer alumna Annie Brunner has signed a professional contract with FC Neunkirch of the Switzerland Nationalliga A.
Brunner, who graduated in December, is already in pre-season training with the team. The 2014 season begins on Saturday, Feb. 2 as FC Neunkirch faces FC Zurich.
"I've wanted to become a pro soccer player since I was a little girl,” Brunner said. “After this season ended on such a high, I knew I would have the opportunity to continue playing, so when this one presented itself, I knew I'd be a fool not to take advantage of it. So far it's been pretty cool getting to live out a lifelong dream!"
In her four-year career at CU, Brunner, an Arvada, Colo. native, proved herself as one of program’s all-time best goalkeepers. As a co-captain during the 2013 season, Brunner helped lead the Buffaloes to the NCAA Sweet 16 – matching the best finish in program history. Brunner finished the season ranked in the nation’s top 100 in saves and shutout percentage.
Brunner had the best season of her career in 2013, posting career-best figures in saves (87), saves per game (3.78), wins (14) and shutouts (nine) – which all rank in CU’s single season top nine. Her 1.11 goals-against average also ranks 11th. Brunner and the Buffs began the season by breaking the records they had set in the last, with five straight shutouts and six straight wins.
Brunner and 2003 Big 12 Championship team member Jessica Keller are the only Buffs to have at least nine shutouts in a single season and record at least seven in back-to-back seasons. Brunner is also one of just three CU keepers to record at least 14 wins in a single season. Brunner also ranks second all-time in saves, wins, ties and shutouts. Her GAA and minutes played rank fifth, while her games started and played also rank in CU’s all-time top 15. With 6,957 career minutes spent in the net, Brunner played the fifth most minutes of any of nation’s active keepers through the 2013 season.
She also received many national and conference recognitions during her time at CU. As a freshman, Brunner earned College Soccer 360 Primetime Performer of the Week and Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors, along with a spot on the 2010 All-Big 12 Newcomer Team. Brunner was a three-time conference Defensive Player of the Week, both in the Big 12 and Pac-12, earning the honor in her freshman, junior and senior seasons. Brunner also excelled in the classroom as a Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention her junior and senior years.
“We are very excited for Annie,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “She had a great year for the Buffs and has worked hard since our season ended in November. This is a tremendous opportunity for Annie to start her professional career. (Assistant coach) Jason (Green) has prepared her well for the challenges she will face.”