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Everyday Champion: Brandi Dawson

Nov 4, 2013

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Brandi Dawson loves her sport- soccer- and loves that her family is always in the stands for home games. Whether it's her parents and five brothers, or her OSU friends who have become family, Brandi always has someone there cheering especially for her and she couldn't be happier.

“Originally, I started on some rec teams,” Brandi said. The senior forward from Forest Grove has been playing soccer since she was five years old.

By age 13, she had joined a club team, kicking up her game a notch. She also played four years with Oregon’s Olympic Development Program (ODP), attending two regional camps and improving her game every step of the way.

While all of the Dawson children played rec soccer, Brandi was the only one who continued on to play on a club team and beyond. Her brothers, she noted, are all very athletic which is what actually led her to the soccer field. Brandi, being an athlete herself, dabbled in a few other sports growing up as well.

“I also did track,” Brandi said with a smile. “I did just about every event I could.” Her track career included competing in the javelin, triple jump, long jump, pole vault, and the short relay.

When it came time for college, Brandi was drawn to Oregon State because she had seen the soccer program developing and wanted to be a part of that. Seeing so many people committed to soccer made her decision even easier.

“When I met the coaches, I just knew they were taking the program in the right direction,” Brandi said. “Most people here had such a love for the game that I had.”

Brandi is one of nine seniors on the Beaver squad and she is savoring her senior year as much as possible. “I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can,” she said, adding, “I want to reach my full potential, play my best on the field and do my best in the classroom.”

Going into her senior year, Brandi set goals for herself, one of which was to score or get an assist every other game. She has surely done her best, one of her favorite moments being her game-winning goal against Texas this year. Each season, the team sets goals that they look to achieve during the year as well.

“This year, our main goal is to go to the tournament,” Brandi said. “But we are taking it game by game.”

Brandi, valedictorian of the Class of 2010 at Forest Grove High School, said Oregon State was also a great fit for her life goals.

“I always knew I really enjoyed the sciences,” Brandi said. Originally, she was an Exercise and Sport Science major before reexamining where she wanted to go. Soon, she changed her major to Human Development and Family Sciences, with a minor in Public Health, and currently maintains a 3.97 GPA. “I got more geared toward nursing.”

After completing her degree at OSU, Brandi will then need to complete a two year nursing degree program. She has already contemplated her options and is looking forward to that next stage in her life. Helping her along the way have been her teammates; they have been a great support when it comes to performing in the classroom, as well as on the field.

“There are about four or five of us studying to be nurses,” Brandi said. “We study together for exams and really help each other out.”

While she does stay very busy between her studies and her sport, Brandi does more than just attend classes and play soccer.

“I really enjoy anything active,” Brandi said, examples including long boarding, beach volleyball and flag football. “My all-time favorite, though, is photography; I like going out and taking pictures, especially abstract photography.”

She got hooked on photography as a sophomore in high school and has continued taking classes here at OSU. “Whenever I am shooting, I usually take about 100 pictures and I come out with one that I like,” Brandi commented; the process of getting the look she wants is long, but gratifying.

She has also worked at Dixon in the maintenance department all four years she has been in Corvallis. This year, she was promoted to supervisor.

“I work with a great group of people who are always out here supporting me,” Brandi said, describing the signs they bring to every home game. “My work crew is probably my number one fan base; they've been an awesome support for our team overall.”

Of course, Brandi's number one fans are her mother and father.

“My mom comes to every game she can, and so does my dad, which is awesome,” Brandi said, giving her parents a lot of credit for her being at Oregon State. “They put so much into me being able to play at the college level so it's really good to have them there, supporting me.”

Come celebrate Brandi and the other eight Oregon State seniors on Thursday, senior day, as the Beavers host Oregon in their last regular-season match.