Erica Owens: Keeping Goals on and off the Soccer Field
Erica Owens answered her phone. Brigham Young University was inviting her to join the women’s soccer team. She nonchalantly responded, “All my options are open; I’ll have to give you a call back.” Then she hung up the phone and yelled, “Mom! I’m going to BYU!”
With similar amounts of poise and enthusiasm, Owens has proven to be a formidable goalkeeper for the Cougars. In 2012 she ranked sixth in the nation for minutes played and fifth for average goals allowed. She also recorded 77 saves and 12 shutouts on the way to her team being ranked second nationally and finishing the season in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
But her success at BYU isn’t just on the soccer field. Last year Owens graduated in exercise science, and in her junior year the National Soccer Coaches Association of America placed her on the Scholar All-America second team. Now, during her last year on the team, she is pursuing post-baccalaureate studies in health promotion.
Because of You
Early on, Owens was faced with a tough decision: Should she quit soccer to get a job and pay for school? She really wanted to play soccer and go to school. Fortunately, donors pitched in and made both goals possible. “With my scholarship I could do it all,” she says.
Erica Owens, left, is a celebrated goalkeeper on BYU’s women’s soccer team. She has enjoyed her BYU experience on and off the field and is grateful to Jeff and Marlisa Lund for providing the scholarship she was awarded. “If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am now,” says Owens.
More than schoolwork and even soccer, she feels the spiritual environment of BYU has had the biggest impact on her. “Every class opens with a prayer and ties gospel principles into what we’re learning. It has helped me realize the gospel really is all encompassing.”
Owens says she feels incredibly blessed, and she’s not the only one. Jeff and Marlisa Lund, who provided the scholarship, are grateful to have helped. “She’s a great example to our kids,” says Jeff. “They really look up to her - and not just because she’s tall.”
The Lunds give to BYU athletics because they admire the determination of student athletes. “We’ve been fortunate to have the means to help others,” says Jeff, “but if we didn’t give, I believe the opportunity and means would go away.”
Owens is especially grateful to the Lunds for making her dream a reality. “If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am now. They are inspiring to me. I’ve been the recipient of their generosity, and I want to do that for other people. I want to give back to BYU.”