Oliver a fixture for RailHawks in USASA U23 national title run

Scooter Oliver (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Scooter Oliver (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)


Scooter Oliver of Campbell University played every minute in the final two matches in the Carolina RailHawks' run to the USASA Men's U23 national championship last weekend at San Antonio.

A rising junior midfielder, Oliver logged the full 120 minutes in a 3-1 overtime victory last Friday against South Sound FC of Tacoma, Wash. 

After giving up an early goal, the RailHawks rebounded on a 30th minute goal from Cooper Vandermas-Peeler. Five minutes into the first overtime period, Jordan Rouse scored what proved to be the game winner. At the end of the first overtime period Vandermas-Peeler was taken down just outside the box. Nick Surkamp hit a bending free kick around the wall, assuring the RailHawks a berth into Saturday's Championship match.

The RailHawks U-23s won title with a decisive 4-1 victory over Real Caribe SC (New York) on Saturday evening. Led by head coach Dewan Bader, the U-23s captured their second USASA National Championship in three years over the weekend at STAR Complex. Their dominating performances over the Regional and National stages (5 games) of the competition resulted in a staggering 26 goals scored and 4 goal allowed.

 "We are thrilled to capture another national championship for the RailHawks organization," said Bader. "The guys put in the hard work over the summer and it paid off with their performance over the weekend. I would like to thank all involved including our program sponsor, JRW Associates."

In Saturday's championship match, the U-23's jumped ahead in the 15th minute when RailHawks midfielder Nazmi Albadawi fired a wonder-strike into the upper left corner of the goal.  Zabarle Kollie netted the second goal of the evening just ten minutes later.

After the break, Carolina eliminated any chance for a Real Caribe comeback when a Surkamp strike found the back of the net at the 65-minute mark. Shortly thereafter, Rouse became the fourth RailHawks player to score in the final, when he slotted his shot past the keeper to put Carolina ahead 4-0 in the 80th minute. The U-23s were unable to hold onto the shutout when Real Caribe scored their only goal of the evening in second half stoppage time.

Campbell teammates Eduardo Rodriguez and Ricki Gaez joined Oliver on the Railhawks U23s over the summer, but did not play in the semifinals or final.

Oliver played in 15 matches with 12 starts, missing 4 outings due to injury during the 2012 Fighting Camel campaign.   The rising junior from Cary, N.C., played the full 110 minutes in the draw at SMU and provided an assist in a 2-1 win over No.-25 High Point from his holding midfield position.  He was named to the Big South Conference all-academic team and also earned a place on the league's presidential honor roll.

Coming off a 12-5-2 season last year, the 2013 Fighting Camels report for pre-season camp on Aug. 9 and hold their first training session one day later.  Fourth-year head coach Steve Armas' squad opens its pre-season schedule at home with a 7 p.m. kick-off vs. Wake Forest on Sat., Aug. 17.