More than just goals: Tarr leads Bruins’ offense
Senior forward Brandon Tarr will admit he doesn’t have the prettiest game on the soccer field.
“I’m not necessarily going to beat you with step-overs and ton of beautiful movements,” Tarr said. “But I think my personal style is just I like to receive the ball.”
Once he receives the ball though, Tarr stands out. With 25 career goals and 59 career points, he’s Belmont all-time leading scorer whose play extends beyond his shots on goal percentage.
Tarr’s own personal, aggressive style and off-field mild temper reminds Belmont head coach Earle Davidson of his own.
“I really appreciate those things about him, coming from my history and my past,” Davidson said. “But honestly, he’s had an impact since he’s gotten here. He’s in his fourth year here, all time leading goal scorer, and there’s nothing lucky about that. That’s talent and quality.”
Tarr recognizes his on-field ferocity as well as his more “chill” side off the pitch. He said he is able to be laid-back and easy-going off the field. But when the game is on the line, he becomes one of the Bruins’ most aggressive, which he credits to being so passionate about the sport.
“I can honestly say that there’s probably nothing else in my life that I’m that passionate about. I just become a different person,” Tarr said. “Sometimes that comes off as good, sometimes it can come off as a little too aggressive. But in the end, I think it’s just when I get on the soccer field, there’s nothing I want more than to win. That’s what brings the fire out.”
Tarr’s passion for the game was born at the age of 4 when his parents entered him in a local league and has stayed with the Knoxville native since.
While still in high school, Tarr was selected as a member of the United States Under 15 national team and also participated in the U-17 residency program. As part of the program, Tarr lived and trained with other elite players who were scouted from all across the country.
“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had soccer-wise,” Tarr said. “You have these really great coaches with phenomenal backgrounds. We trained every day for a couple of hours, kind of like college life but you’re 15. And the traveling we got to do was incredible.”
While participating in the residency program, Tarr traveled all around the world competing against teams like Japan, Argentina, England and Belgium.
He originally began his collegiate career as a redshirt freshman at the University of South Carolina. After tearing his meniscus, Tarr said he needed a fresh start and decided to transfer to Belmont.
“I don’t think I was quite happy at South Carolina, just for various reasons both personal and soccer-wise,” Tarr said. “In the end, I just wanted to come back to Tennessee somewhere.”
So far this season, Tarr has continued to lead the team in scoring with six goals in 10 matches. At one point this season, he had the sixth most goals in the country. Now, he’s tied for 28th most goals in Division I soccer.
Tarr credits a majority of his success on the field to his teammates.
As a forward, he must get into a goal-scoring position and then have teammates like midfielder Nico Olsak get the ball to him.
“You got to have good runs from forwards and good people that can see those runs,” Tarr said. “I think those two things are why I’ve been able to have success this year.”
Davidson believes Tarr has been so successful because he knows where his strengths are and can create a mindset for himself during games.
“He’s always done a very good job of getting the most out of his strengths and putting himself into his comfort areas within the game,” Davidson said. “He’s lethal when he gets the chance.”
Tarr and the Bruins hit the road for a match against NC State on Oct. 9. Belmont’s final home game will be Oct. 13 against Longwood.