Brittany’s goal is no goals (for the other team)
Jan 29, 2015
Brittany Oliver’s job is to deny everything, and she’s good at it.
As goalkeeper for the Moshannon Valley Lady Damsels soccer team, this PA Cyber junior denied all goal attempts in matches with six opposing teams this season, part of a record-shattering year for her team.
With Brittany in goal, the Lady Damsels racked up most wins in school history, winning 17 of 20 matches, won its first Inter-County Conference championship, had an undefeated conference record, made District 6 playoffs for only the second time ever, and was the first Moshannon girl’s soccer team to advance beyond the first round in district playoffs.
Her formula for success? “Work with your team, keep your eye on the ball, and hope the ball stays in front of you and the goal stays behind you,” she said. She humbly gives her team’s “very good” defensive line the credit for allowing opponents few good scoring chances.
Asked why she loves playing goalkeeper – the player most at risk to be the hero or the scapegoat – Brittany said, “I love the tension of it. It can get intense. I get nervous, but once game time comes, I just do it.”
Brittany set individual goalkeeper team records with most shutouts (six) and a lowest goals against average of 1.5 per game. No team scored more than four goals on Moshannon with her in net. She had a total of 93 saves this season, and a two-year total of 286.
Maxpreps.com, a high school sports website, ranked Brittany 58th among Pennsylvania high school goalkeepers this year.
Brittany started playing soccer at age 5 or 6. She fell into the goalkeeper’s role in junior high, and has claimed it ever since.
Soccer isn’t her only sport. A member of a 4-H horse club, Brittany competes in barrel racing, pole bending and cutback – three hard-riding contests in which she and her horse Scout race all-out to beat the best time on the clock.
It’s little wonder that a girl who is unafraid to stand up in goal, or twist and turn on a racing horse, would also be unafraid to try a different kind of school. She enrolled in PA Cyber in eighth grade.
“We were looking for more of an academic challenge, and PA Cyber offered extra courses and more foreign languages,” said her father, Eric Oliver. “Cyber school allows her a flexible schedule to take care of her horses, and she avoids all the trials and tribulations – the drama – that you see in high school.”
Her grades are very good in PA Cyber – all A’s or “flirting with them,” as her father puts it. Her cyber school activities include being an active member of the student Photo Club.
Brittany has a sister, Kristyn, 9, and two stepsiblings, Hailey, 10, and Tyler, 12.
Brittany said she would love to continue playing soccer when she goes to college in a couple of years. She likes the outdoors and the natural sciences; working as a wildlife biologist is a possible career path.
The Lady Damsels finished with a 17-3 overall record, ending their stellar season with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Westmont Hills in the second round of district playoffs.
Next year, other teams in the Inter-County Conference had better watch out. The Lady Damsels will lose only four players to graduation, and Brittany Oliver plans to be back in goal, denying everything that comes her way.
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.