Graduate transfer goalkeeper finally gets her opportunity on the Mesa


Luis Lopez

Aztecs senior goalkeeper Brooke Lisowski attempts to kick the ball to get the offense started during the Aztecs’ 3-0 victory over San José State on Oct. 27 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

Hidden gems are something of a coveted asset in college athletics.

Teams spend hours trying to lure top prospects to their programs, but in the best of situations, that gem can fall right into your lap.

San Diego State goalkeeper Brooke Lisowski is one of those gems, and in this case, the situation could not have worked out better for both Lisowski and the SDSU women’s soccer program.

Lisowski is a fifth-year senior grad transfer from California and played behind second-team All-American goalkeeper Emily Boyd, who now plays in the National Women’s Soccer League for the Chicago Red Stars.

Lisowski played in just four games as a Golden Bear – all of which took place during her junior year at Berkeley.

While Lisowski said it was tough to not get playing time, it was that experience that Lisowski used to become a better athlete – both on and off the field.

“(I) took it as an opportunity to learn from the best, and to put myself in a place where not only athletically but academically I’m competeing with the top people in the country, so that was a cool environment to be in,” Lisowski said.

Lisowski went on to look for a program with two requirements: the ability to earn a major in public health and a team with a need for a goalkeeper for one season.

It was then that California head coach Neil McGuire sent out a mass email to every Division I soccer program asking who was interested in Lisowski.

She narrowed down her choices to three schools: Boise State, Grand Canyon University and SDSU.

“I always wanted to live in Southern California, so I just kind of went full send, picked up my life and moved out here,” Lisowski said.

That decision has paid off. Lisowski has played in all 16 games for the Aztecs so far, notching 53 saves and four shut-outs – all while claiming her first Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week Award on Oct. 7 and another for the week of Oct. 27.

Lisowski’s impact has been felt on and off the field this year. For example, junior defender Sarah Broacha values the experience she brings to the table.

“She’s been really helpful in the back, and obviously she’s been saving a lot of (shots),” Broacha said. “She has a lot of good experience. It’s good to have someone with experience back there, because she can show the other (goalkeepers) while they’re learning,” Broacha said.

The other goalkeepers Broacha referred to were freshman Clarissa Ramirez and redshirt freshman Poonam Ranu.

The presence of two freshmen goalkeepers is part of the reason that head coach Mike Friesen felt a need to bring in Lisowski. Her experience at the position can help to aid the next wave of Aztec goalkeeping.

“That was one of the things we talked about during the recruiting process, which meant that whether she was a starter or not, she was going to be a mentor to some younger players,” Friesen said.“I think that’s been a big piece for our younger players to see that she’s put in the time and effort to this point, and she can be a role model for them.”

While Lisowski’s career at the Mesa will have only lasted for one season, her impact may be felt for years to come.

Update: This article was updated on Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. as Lisowski was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week again on Oct. 28.