By Megan Acuna|Staff Writer|
Tanner Olinger modestly describes himself as “just a hard working student athlete.”
The Washington native has had a stellar four years playing goalkeeper for our Coyote men’s soccer team.
“I’ve played soccer since I was four and I enjoyed every second,” said Olinger.
This season ended with a shutout win against CSU East Bay and with Olinger only having had allowed nine goals which gave him a .845 saves percentage with 48 saves out of 59 shots on goal.
This phenomenal performance gained him recognition when he was awarded first-team All-CCAA honors for this season.
“I was a little bit surprised considering we didn’t make post season this year but I was happy about it,” said Olinger.
Olinger is majoring in Kinesiology with a focus in pre-physical therapy.
With plans to graduate in the Spring 2013, he has intentions to go to graduate school and is diligently working hard in all of his classes.
“I’d love to work with athletes but it takes a while. Any physical therapy is fine; athletes are just a bonus.
I need to be in a three-year doctorate program. I’d like to go to Loma Linda or CSU Long Beach. I’ve also applied to schools closer to home,” said Olinger.
With home hundreds of miles away in Washington, it’s amazing that Olinger was able to adapt these past four seasons and play as well as he has for the Coyotes including keeping up with a great GPA.
“I miss my family and the atmosphere. It’s very different here. Washington is more relaxed while California is very fast paced,” said Olinger.
Even though school and working at the Rec Center on campus takes up most of his time, Olinger enjoys movies, books and music like any other college student.
“My two favorite movies of all time are “Gladiator”, because it’s inspiring with good story and plot, and “Se7en” because it’s very smart. My favorite sports movie is “Green Street Hooligans”. I read the Lee Child Jack Reacher novels and I like everything from country to rap. Eminem and Zac Brown Band are my favorite artists.”
Olinger adds that he has in fact never been to a concert, but wishes he had gone to Stagecoach.
He has, though, been to soccer games.
“I follow soccer but I don’t look up to any players and have no one player I’m inspired by, I just like the game. My favorite team is Everton F.C.,” said Olinger.
It’s always interesting for sports fans to learn about athletes and their pre-game rituals and superstitions.
“I try to keep the same warm up and same habits before every game. I listen to music and try not to be too serious or too goofy.” He jokingly adds that he has no “smelly habits” like not washing his uniform.
“I try to do my best in school while performing as well as I can on the field. It’s a balancing act.”
If he continues to be a hard working, high-achieving student athlete, Olinger can count on an extremely bright and successful future ahead of him.