Taco Bell Student-Athlete Spotlight
Statesboro, Ga. - As a senior forward on the Georgia Southern women's soccer team, Sara Oland understands what it means to be a leader on and off the field. She also works hard to keep her teammates loose before every match.
"On the field I'm not always the most vocal leader, but I try to lead by example," said Oland. "I also try to keep the team calm by joking around and making people laugh. I know when to be serious, but like most teams we play better when we're relaxed."
Oland is coming off a junior campaign where she led the Eagles with nine goals scored, ranking sixth in the Southern Conference. This season, she is one of three seniors on the pitch for first-year Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel.
"Sara is one of our chosen captains this year," said Vanderspiegel. "She leads this team by the effort she gives on and off the field. She also does a great job of keeping our team loose in pressure situations which is nice to have in the locker room."
Oland has maintained a 3.40 GPA while majoring in education. Her responsibilities as a student-athlete do not leave her much free time, but placing academics first was something that she learned at an early age.
"My parents instilled in me that I am a student before I am an athlete. Growing up, if I struggled in a class or received a bad grade, I wouldn't be allowed to go to practice. That was extra motivation because I didn't want to miss a practice. Now that I'm in college, I understand that my academics is what allows me to play Division I soccer."
The Eagles play a pair of conference matches at home this weekend, beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 against Western Carolina followed by a Sunday match at 2 p.m. against Appalachian State.
Major: Middle Grades Education
Interests: Going to the movies and the beach. I also enjoy soccer, basketball, softball, beach volleyball and ultimate Frisbee.
Movies: Due Date
Type of Music: Hip Hop and Rap
Athlete: David Villa, Jamie Benn
Why did you choose to attend GSU? I loved the athletic and education programs and the campus is beautiful.
What is your favorite memory so far as an Eagle? My sophomore year the team traveled to Washington, D.C. Flying is always fun, the field was awesome and being able to visit some of the museums made it a really cool trip.
What do you appreciate most about your team? That we never give up and work hard constantly to get better.
What are your goals for the upcoming season: To make the conference tournament and a run at the championship.
What are your plans after college? To be a middle school teacher and a high school coach.
- Category: Women's Soccer
- Published on Friday, 07 October 2011 10:09