Dyer: Cincinnati Country Day soccer standout Olivia Brown a leader on and off the pitch

Posted at 9:00 AM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 09:21:29-04

INDIAN HILL, Ohio -- Olivia Brown is used to being called “mom” by her Cincinnati Country Day soccer teammates.

The standout senior midfielder doesn’t mind the jokes because she knows the younger players look to her guidance on and off the pitch.


Cincinnati Country Day senior Olivia Brown (LaRosa’s photo)


After all, she was a freshman at one time.

“It’s weird -- I feel really old now,” Brown said. “But, I like it.”

In fact, Brown is the first two-time captain in Theresa Hirschauer’s 22-year coaching career.

Brown, a University of Dayton verbal commit, is already a two-time Division III all-state selection. She’s won three club state titles and was named the LaRosa’s MVP of the week earlier this month.

Entering Tuesday, Brown, 18, had four goals and five assists this season. She scored the lone goal in the Indians’ 1-0 win at Madeira on Sept. 17.

Soccer has been good to Brown, who has played since the age of 3. But, it’s the friendships she built that she cherishes the most about the sport.

“It’s kind of my happy place,” she said. “It’s just awesome. Just being on a team and being able to have the success I had it’s really awesome.”

Cincinnati Country Day (7-1-1, 3-0 Miami Valley Conference) plays at Cincinnati Christian Thursday.

“If she feels she is not playing well and she hasn’t helped the team – that’s the hardest thing for her," Hirschauer said. "She is so unselfish.”

That unselfish style has led to assists over the years. As a junior, she had had 17 goals and 21 assists – and led the Miami Valley Conference in scoring.

“Olivia has scored many goals in her career,” Hirschauer said. “But, she would love that beautiful assist that somebody finishes and you win a game 1-0.”

Brown, who lives in Blanchester, receives inspiration from the 25-30 sports movie DVDs she has in her collection.


Cincinnati Country Day senior Olivia Brown (LaRosa’s photo)


She finds inspiration from “Rocky IV” (she watches the film every other day), “Glory Road” and “42” (about Jackie Robinson).

Brown said the late Robinson is her favorite athlete after she researched his life after watching the movie and started to understand the challenges the Baseball Hall of Famer encountered.

“She's a lot different than most kids of her generation,” said Troy Brown, Olivia’s father.

“She likes Sam Cooke, loves Journey, Pat Benatar, and 80s big hair bands. She loves sports movies and history.  That's where she learned about Jackie Robinson," Tony Brown said. "She knows the entire Rocky series by heart and was extremely disappointed to learn that Rocky Balboa was not a real boxer.”

Brown also has a hidden talent: She can sing the alphabet backward. She learned that skill when she was 10.

“I thought it was really cool when I saw it on TV,” Brown said. 

Tony Jaccaci is in his second year as Head of School. One of the first students he met in 2015 was Brown. He watched her excel in the classroom and interact with friends at lunch. He came away impressed with how she applies herself in her studies and in sports.

"She balances her studies and sports," Jaccaci said. "She is very well liked. She has a quiet leadership and leads by example." 

Despite a club soccer schedule as a junior, she played high school basketball where she will be a four-year starter this winter.

Brown’s internal drive means she is normally the first player to stay after practice.

“I think people would look up to her work ethic, they would look up to her integrity,” Hirschauer said. “They don’t look up to her as Olivia the soccer player -- they look up to her as Olivia the student-athlete.”