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Feb, 2021

Club and Country: Elizabeth Oberhaus Continues Career at West Point

The soccer journey of Internationals SC standout Elizabeth Oberhaus has led her to one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  The academy was home to some of our country’s most important military and political leaders, including Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton to name a few.

As you can see, the academy has a legacy like no other.

“The challenge and opportunities West Point presented on and off the soccer field led me to continue my career at West Point,” Oberhaus said. “As I learned more about the school during my recruitment, everything fit.  West Point checked off everything I was looking for in a university - and more.  I know West Point will help me grow as a person and player, which will help me reach my full potential.”

That potential includes impressive goals on and off the field.

“Right now, my biggest short-term goal is to help lead my team to ECNL Nationals in San Diego this year,” Oberhaus said. “I also want to be fully prepared for the basic training I will undergo during my first month and a half at West Point, which I would have to leave for straight from ECNL Nationals.  Long-term, soccer wise, I want to be an integral part of the Army women’s soccer team and help bring a Patriot League Champion to West Point.  On the other side of things, I want to succeed academically and rank extremely high in my class at West Point.  My ambitious side wants to shoot at being First Captain my final (firstie) year.  I hope to serve as an aviation officer in the military after my time at West Point and want to be stationed overseas.”

Her family inspired her to look at opportunities to serve her country. 

“My interest in the military and academies began when my older sister looked into and applied to the Naval Academy during my freshman year of high school,” Oberhaus said. “After that, the opportunities and challenge presented by going to one of the academies and later becoming an officer in the military made me even more interested.  I have always wanted to live my life by serving for a purpose greater than myself and this path aligned perfectly.  I am hoping to succeed in all the pillars at West Point: military, academic, physical, and in leadership.”

West Point only takes the country’s best and brightest so the application process was extremely demanding. 

“The recruitment process was pretty much similar to what I experienced with other schools,” Oberhaus said. “Upfront, the only differences were that immediately I had to send the coaches my high school transcript and list of extracurriculars, in order for them to deem me competitive enough to get in.  The application process was extremely different from what it would have been at other institutions.  There are multiple steps in the application process that you are completely on your own for.  For example, in order to be accepted to West Point you also must receive a nomination from a member of Congress.  This involves a whole other round of applications and interviews that the coaches cannot help you with.  Personally, I was on my own for the entirety of the application because the coaches knew I would be able to get in on my own and this allowed them to use my ‘held’ spot on the team for another recruit.  Overall, the recruitment was not more difficult but applying to the school definitely was.”

Oberhaus was quick to point out the role that Internationals SC played in her development. 

“Internationals prepared me for West Point by pushing me to always be the best,” Oberhaus said. “No matter if it was soccer, fitness, academics, or character, Internationals helped me learn and grow.  I would not be the player or person I am today without Internationals.  The values of Internationals - integrity, commitment, perseverance, heart, and honesty - align with those at West Point.  Internationals helped me instill these values fully into my own character.”

The challenging environment provided by Internationals SC and the ECNL paid dividends for Oberhaus. 

“The level of play and competition I have experienced at Internationals is beyond anything I had before joining,” Oberhaus said. “We practice as if each point in a small-sided game was the deciding factor in making it to a national tournament.  The highly competitive atmosphere at Internationals results in the level of play being high.  Specifically, in regards to my U18/19 team this year, we practice and develop together.  If one player improves and decides to up her level of play during practice that helps all of us improve because it increases our speed of play and competitiveness.  I am a very competitive person and my favorite parts of my week are competing, playing high-level soccer, and seeing extremely important people in my life at Internationals practices.”

A number of Internationals coaches helped prepare her for the next level.

“Each coach at Internationals has helped me develop different part of my game,” Oberhaus said. “Zdravko (Popovic) has always been the coach who pushes me past my limits.  Since day one, he has been pushing me and helping me to become a coach to myself.  He was an integral part of my recruitment process and always made sure I was taking my time and being smart with my decisions.  He wanted to make sure I found the perfect school for me, and with his help I did.  Recently, I had an IDP (Individual Development Plan) meeting with Keri (Sarver) and she helped me focus in on what I need to do in order to reach my long-term and short-term soccer goals.  Keri’s expertise in regard to the game makes her my go-to when I have any tactical questions about my position or something that happened in a game.  She always answers my questions in a way I understand and can use the information given to improve my game.  Keri and Zdravko have believed in me since the first day I joined Internationals and I don’t think I could have improved into the player I am now without them.”

Oberhaus has the experience and now she has the opportunity to make a tremendous impact. 

“I have high expectations and aspirations for West Point’s soccer program and the Patriot League,” Oberhaus said. “I am excited to compete with my teammates at West Point and work harder than ever to become an impact player on the team.  I expect everyone on the team to want to work just as hard as me towards improving and I aspire to help leading Army to a Patriot League Championship.  From the Patriot League I expect a high level of competition, especially for the Army vs. Navy game.  I expect to grow as a player through Army’s program, new coaches, and the Patriot League.”

Club and ECNL Director Keri Sarver is confident that Oberhaus will make many contributions to the West Point community, both on and off the field. 

"We cannot say enough about how impressed we are with Biz's growth over the past few years,” Sarver said. “Her commitment to her individual development has helped her improve in multiple aspects of the game. The improvement in her decision-making, speed of play, overall soccer fitness, and technical ability has led to her being a leader and one of our most consistent performers on our U19 ECNL team.  Her acceptance into and decision to pursue the opportunity at West Point Academy speaks volumes for her ability to meet any challenge head on.  She is also a dedicated student, a great teammate, and she has demonstrated that she has the mentality, commitment, and character to thrive on and off the field at West Point.  Biz deserves every bit of this honor and we know she will represent her family, her club, and her country with the utmost integrity, pride, and respect.  Myself and the rest of her coaches at the Internationals could not be more proud!"

Photo Credit: Lisa Cory Photography

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