The Story Behind Sun Devil Soccer Star Olivia Nguyen’s Success

By Brandie Bosworth

Arizona ( The Sun Devils. com) :Arizona State senior Olivia Nguyen’s career with the Sun Devils women’s soccer team feels like a full circle journey from her childhood.

The Tempe native regularly attended Sun Devil Soccer games as a child and grew up in a sports-oriented family. She has two older brothers and is the youngest of the three. Her brothers participated in baseball, wrestling and football—but unfortunately for her dad, neither of them played soccer.

“My dad grew up playing soccer and is a huge soccer fan. He always wanted a child to play. So when my two older brothers didn’t pick it up, it was put on me,” joked Nguyen.

Her dad, Benny Nguyen, said it all started when he took his daughter along to her brothers’ sports practices. Olivia – a kindergartner then – would get bored, so he brought a soccer ball for her to kick around. Eventually, when he noticed how much fun she was having, he brought training cones and taught her drills to challenge her. Shortly after, he signed her up for the YMCA soccer team.

“I could tell with Olivia, she wants to play more competitively,” Benny Nguyen said. “She was like, ‘OK I love playing this, When the time came to go to college, Nguyen found herself wanting to remain close to her roots.

“I thought, I want to get out of Arizona. I want to go super far. But the deeper I got into the recruiting process, I realized that family is a big part of my life,” said Nguyen.

Benny Nguyen said she was offered a scholarship to play at Pepperdine, where you can see the ocean directly from the soccer field. He recalls telling Olivia it was her “ticket” to experience different places. However, Olivia’s older brother went to play for the Northern Arizona University football team. She thought it was special her parents had the opportunity to go to all of his games. After seeing how involved her family was with her brother’s college sports career, she changed her mind about moving away.

“Once I got the offer for ASU and went on my visit, I was sold,” Olivia Nguyen said. “On the spot, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Benny said he couldn’t ask for anything better than his daughter choosing to play for the Sun Devils. Although the drive to the soccer stadium is short, the family also travels to places such as North Carolina and Oregon to cheer the team on at away games.

“As superfans, we are going to be there,” Benny said. “We just want to go and watch her play.”but let’s get going.’”

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