Brader, Jenna


Jenna Brader had the chance to join 2x defending national champion Ohio Wesleyan coming out of high school, but instead opted for a new-look program at Otterbein behind young head coach Brandon Koons.

Koons, looking to build up a struggling program after taking the reins a few years prior, welcomed this future star midfielder as part of a 16-player class in the fall of 2003.

Jenna was all heart. There were other players more technically skillful, but very few opponents outworked her. That immediately showed when Brader became the first freshman in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) history to earn Player of the Year honors at her position. She sparked Otterbein to a 15-2-2 record that fall and set the table for a notable stretch.

Her 2004 squad was the first in program history to win an OAC title and make the NCAA Championships, eliminated in a shootout after a draw with Mary Washington in the first round. A selfless Brader, with eight goals and team-high eight assists, was the first repeat Player of the Year in league history.

Jenna’s 2005 All-American Award came on the heels of the program’s best season to that point. In fact, although the Cardinals have progressed further since, no team has won more games. The 20-1-1 output that year set an OAC single-season record that has only been equaled by two other teams, both from Otterbein as well.

The Cardinals reached as high as No. 5 in the national rankings and made the NCAA Sweet 16 that year, falling in penalty kicks after a scoreless draw with Denison. Nevertheless, their two-way star became the first 3x OAC Midfielder of the Year after a career-high 27 points (nine goals, nine assists) and contributing to 12 shutouts on the defensive end.

Despite bigger goals and assists in more important matches, Brader’s 2005 performance against Capital is perhaps the greatest example of her contributions. Just hours after being medically cleared from injury with the understanding that she would be playing in significant pain the rest of the season, (but could do no further damage), she scored two goals and assisted a third in a 4-1 win over the cross-town rival.

After that magical 2005 run, Brader and teammate Karen Beers became the first two women’s soccer All-Americans in school history. She picked up awards for All-Ohio and All-Great Lakes Region along the way too, as both a player and student in the classroom.


Unfortunately, Jenna’s highly-anticipated senior year was cut short due to that same injury after just one match.. where she fittingly assisted a goal. She rested with 63 career points on a dead even 21 goals and 21 assists, finishing the 2006 season as an inspirational leader on the sidelines.


A team captain and leader by example, Brader helped guide the team to a 50-7-6 record during her playing career with three-straight OAC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. She still ranks fifth all-time in assists despite missing that final season.