Stanford Athletics announced on Thursday night that senior goalkeeper Emily Oliver has medically retired from the team due to a series of concussions.
“I’ve had a lot of concussions,” Oliver told Stanford Athletics. “So my risk is very high now. Going through the process of deciding this direction, I can’t even put into words how helpful it has been to be with this team and all these girls that make it bearable.”
Oliver, a three-time College Cup All-Tournament player and two-time All-Pac 12 first teamer, had allowed two goals in the team’s first three matches of the season before leaving the pitch in the 41st minute of the team’s August 31 match against Portland.
The Flossmoor, Ill. native enjoyed a phenomenal freshman 2010 season in which she took over goalkeeping duties in the team’s fifth match of the season. Her season goals-against average of 0.31 set a new record for Stanford freshmen and was third in the nation, earning her All-Pac 10 honorable mention accolades as the Cardinal ultimately lost to Notre Dame in the NCAA Championship.
Oliver showed no signs of a sophomore slump in the 2011 season, becoming one of the most dominant goalkeepers in the country as she led the nation with a 0.23 goals-against average while allowing only five goals and earning 12 shutouts. She finished that season with a 20-0-1 win-loss record and was a crucial part of the team’s NCAA Championship title.
After an injury-shortened 2012, expectations were very high for the four-year starter to have another spectacular season before her collegiate career was cut short. Touted freshman Jane Campbell has since been starting at goalkeeper in Oliver’s place. Moving forward, Oliver will act as a mentor to Campbell and the other goalkeepers on the squad.
“She’s an unbelievable competitor, has amazing character and has been the foundation of the program for the last four years,” head coach Paul Ratcliffe told Stanford Athletics. “Emily will go down in the record books as one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to play at Stanford, and we have a tradition of having incredible goalkeepers.”
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.