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Brzezinski laying down the law at Berkley High WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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  • The Berkley soccer team prepares tp play Lake Orion on Saturday, May 10. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Robyn Fryc tosses the ball back into play for Berkley. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Breanna Travis for Lake Orion. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • The Berkley bench. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Lake Orion's Katelyn Llewllyn. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Freshman Berkley soccer player, Shawn Gabriel. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • In the spirit of good sportsmanship, Berkley fans cheer on the Lake Orion team at the start of the second half. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
  • The crowd enjoyed a rare day in the sun. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Enthusiastic Berkley soccer fans surround the team as they take the field. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Alex Moses keeps the ball in play for Lake Orion. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Nina Palazzolo takes at the ball for Berkley. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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  • Sophmore Chloe Olivia, leaps high to do a header. Daily Tribune Photo/LIZ CARNEGIE
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1-800-CALL-MATT?

As things turned out, that particular career call got disconnected. Matt Brzezinski opted not to study law.

“The LSAT was on a Saturday. I broke my collarbone in a Wednesday game,” said Brzezinski.

Brzezinski, who is now the girls soccer coach at Berkley High, was playing in a game for Albion College when the injury occurred.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is an integral part of the admission process.

Brzezinski has a political science/art history double major from Albion. He had a pre-law focus.

In retrospect, the fractured collarbone turned into a lucky break.

“Previously, all I wanted to do was go to law school. I was ready to pursue that as a career. I had the big dream of going into corporate law and doing contracts. After that, I thought about becoming a sports agent.

“But I began having second thoughts. I had helped coach the girls soccer team when I was a student at Jackson High School. I had worked camps at Albion when I was in college. I think that was when I first thought seriously about coaching,” continued Brzezinski.

Brzezinski works with The Martec Group, an international market research and consulting company, with an office in Southfield.

Brzezinski coached high school soccer with Steve Wloszek at Shrine for a year, and also with Wloszek at Berkley with the boys team. This is his first season with the girls.

Berkley is 5-5-3 overall, 5-5-0 in the OAA White Division. A game at Avondale scheduled for Tuesday night was cancelled due to inclement weather.

There are 14 returning players on the Berkley roster. Still, the Bears are a relatively young group. Some of those returners are sophomores who played as freshmen; others are juniors who gained varsity experience as sophomores. There is a core group of seniors.

Three of the four team captains are seniors. They are Maddie Baker, Madison Cross and Madison Murray. Rylie Murray, another captain, is a junior.

Baker hasn’t been able to play due to injury. If she does come back, she will be a defender for the Bears. Cross is also a defender while Madison Murray is a forward. Rylie Murray is a midfielder.

“All of the captains have been instrumental. They set the tone. Even Maddie, who has finally been cleared for some physical activity, is always on the bench talking and encouraging her teammates. All of the players have done a tremendous job adapting to our new style of play. We play an attacking, high-pressure style that definitely requires communication. When we are playing well, we are communicating and talking to each other,” said Brzezinski.

Another important player for Berkley is Camilla Nystroem, a senior midfielder. She is a foreign exchange student from Sweden.

Every one of the players on the roster is important, stressed the coach.

“I want to commend everybody on the team. They all work extremely hard. I am very proud of their accomplishments. They do a lot of things together off the field, too. They have team dinners. They hang out outside of school.”

The Berkley players also work hard in the classroom. Many of the players are members of the National Honor Society.

“I am all about student-athletes,” said Brzezinski. “Grades definitely should come first.”

The coach stresses studies. Be it in high school, college or law school.

Last Updated: 5/14/2014 11:49:15 PM EST

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