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Pitman senior to play soccer against world’s best

Pitman senior to play soccer against world’s best

Pitman High senior Donya Oliveira was called up last week to play for the Portugal National Women's Soccer Team. She is a big-time scorer at the club level.


POSTED February 1, 2010 1:53 p.m.
For years, Donya Oliveira’s soccer skills have taken her to various places all across the country to compete with the best players around. She’s been taking the sport seriously since age 8.
Nine years later, a recent announcement topped it all.
Next month, she’ll suit up for the Portugal National Women’s Team.
It’s an accomplishment that she never expected, but she’ll take it. The Pitman High senior will travel to Portugal on Feb. 18 to start training for the important Algarve Cup, a global invitational for national teams, including the United States, Germany and Norway.
The event is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 4. The tournament started in 1994, and it has since been considered one of the most prestigious women’s soccer events, alongside the World Cup and the Olympics.
Oliveira will be the youngest player on the Portugal roster.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “It’s really fantastic that I get to go and have this opportunity of a lifetime.”
She played for the Pitman girls soccer team during her freshman and sophomore seasons, leading the Pride in goals. She then decided to drop high school soccer and focus on her club teams.
Oliveira now plays for the Juventus Destiny Soccer Club, one of the best teams in Northern California. Her efforts have also landed her a No. 13 ranking in Northern California/Hawaii, according to topdrawersoccer.com.
Her time playing youth soccer has helped her future, as she has committed to Division I Idaho State and is expected to officially ink with the Bengals on Wednesday, known as National Signing Day.
The Portugal team first made contact with Oliveira about two years ago. A team rep talked to her at the National Regional Camp in Florida last year.
On Jan. 20, she was called up to play for Portugal.
Oliveira is eligible to play because her parents are Portuguese, giving her dual citizenship.
Besides getting her traveling paperwork situated, Oliveira begins her day with a 5 a.m. workout before attending her classes at Pitman and returning to the gym or soccer field for afternoon exercises. Her dad, Donald, also helps out with the training. He’s a former soccer player and youth coach.
“She’s been working hard a lot of years,” Donald said. “She’s gone through a lot of stuff. She’s been playing with the top players in the United States.”
Now, Donya Oliveira will be playing with the top players in the world.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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