The women’s soccer team has had great success on the field and in the classroom, and Olivia Eagleson has played a major role in all of the team’s achievements over the last three years. Eagleson, however, is on her way to earning something very few OLLU students, if any, have earned during their time at the university. She is on par with graduating with not only one or two, but three degrees, plus a minor. A typical undergraduate degree encompasses 120 hours, but Eagleson will have about 170 hours once she walks across the stage in May 2022.
Eagleson, among one of the leaders on the team and a four-year senior, exemplifies the role of a student-athlete. She not only balances her academics successfully, but she also works on campus in the Student Leadership and Development office.
Eagleson is majoring in business finance, business accounting and business management; she will also minor in criminal justice and graduate in May 2022. With help from the online student portal, Eagleson discovered that she would be able to major in three different subjects by the time she completes her studies with the courses she has taken.
Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, “Olivia has been a great addition to the program since coming in as a freshman in 2018. Being a student-athlete is never an easy task, but Olivia has maintained a high academic standing while also being productive on the field. Having to navigate training, travel, games, classwork and a job during her time at OLLU, Olivia has displayed the drive and commitment to succeed on the field and in the classroom. She will not only graduate with one degree, but three degrees, which is a tremendous feat for anyone (especially when you take into consideration the discipline it took to navigate the changes over the past year and a half due to the pandemic). We have really been fortunate that Olivia chose to come to OLLU.”
Once she completes her undergraduate degrees, Eagleson plans to keep going. “I’m planning on staying at OLLU to pursue a master’s degree in accounting,” Eagleson commented, “that way, I can sit through the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.” The thing is – she will have already attained enough accounting credits to sit for the exam without having to pursue a master’s degree. “It’s just rare that an undergraduate would [be able to take the exam without a master’s].”
With all this education, including her criminal justice minor, Eagleson plans to pursue the forensics part of accounting and perhaps go after white-collar crimes with the FBI. Although she does not have a job lined up, she hopes to intern with Frost Bank next spring. “This will allow me to see if the accounting field is where I want to be, and if not, there is always the financing side.”
Her success has not come easy, especially in-season when the women travel for games during the week, which results in a lot of self-discipline to keep up with academics. “We’re on the bus for 12 hours at a time, and the bus wifi is not always reliable, but thank God for the professors we have here because they have been extremely understanding of the student-athletes in terms of due dates and working around our schedules.”
Eagleson praises her adviser and School of Businesses and Leadership Assistant Professor Kathryn Winney. “I thought she would think I was crazy asking for a third major,” Eagleson said. “She helped with the process and has been a huge asset in my college career.” Winney worked with the registrar to ensure [the three degrees] could be done, and she has helped Eagleson with everything she needed to succeed.
On the criminal justice side, Eagleson cites Sociology Lecturer Kimberly Brisco as a significant influence. “She made it so fun to the point where I almost considered making criminal justice a major, but I just didn’t do it because I knew I was more inclined to use the mathematical side of my brain.”
In addition to an already packed schedule, Eagleson works on campus for the Student Leadership and Development (SLD) office, which coordinates and manages the student organizations on campus. She is the wellness chair and plans a lot of relaxation and destressing events. She also is the student leader for the “Truth Initiative” on campus. The group is committed to making tobacco use and nicotine addiction a thing of the past.
Her daily routine includes working in the SLD office from 9-11:30 a.m., soccer practice from 12-2:30 p.m. and going back to SLD from 4-7 p.m. After that, she devotes time to studying and maybe a little social life, but not much. She enjoys spending time with her roommates, Liliana Briseno, Rachel Dziuba and Riley Perez. “It’s typically like that every day. I don’t have any free time until after 7 p.m.”
Eagleson, a native of El Paso, Texas, plans to stay in San Antonio after graduation. Eagleson’s mother, Deb Luev, has been a constant source of support throughout her life. “She has been my biggest supporter and has always helped me through challenges. She has been all for making myself more marketable to any future jobs.” Eagleson has two brothers – a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old – both play soccer and are defenders just like Eagleson.
When asked about Coach Salazar, she commented, “He understands that the student aspect comes before the athlete and is always willing to work with us.” Salazar recruited Eagleson before her freshman season in 2018 when her hometown El Paso club visited campus. She considered other colleges, including schools closer to home, but the commitment Salazar showed, and the overall atmosphere of OLLU made her decision easy.
Eagleson has been named a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Scholar-Athlete throughout her years at OLLU, which means maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. During her first three years on the soccer team, the Saints won the RRAC regular-season title twice and the postseason tournament once. Last year, the Saints achieved the first undefeated regular season at 7-0 after the 2020 fall schedule was pushed to spring 2021 due to COVID-19. Her role as a defender assisted in the Saints blanking teams on seven occasions.
Eagleson likes when the younger members of the team come to her for help with their studies. “I like helping the younger ones, especially with accounting; if one’s never been exposed to it [accounting], it is a difficult class in general. Plus, helping them with accounting gives me a little refresher on the basics, which is never a bad thing. Although I am not a captain, I always try to lead by example and listen to any concerns some of the players may have.”
The university congratulates Olivia Eagleson on her accomplishments throughout her four years at OLLU. She, along with seven other seniors, will be celebrated during Seniors’ Day on Oct. 30.