KINGWOOD — Olivia Liston’s list of accomplishments reads long.
The Preston senior midfielder earned all-Big 10 Conference first-team honors, all-WVSSAC Class AAA Region I first-team honors, and was placed on the West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association Class AAA all-state second team, as well as the West Virginia Sportswriters Association all-state first team.
Liston was named Big 10 Conference Midfielder of the Year, and finished her career at Preston with school records in free kick goals (16) and goals as a midfielder (58).
“It’s been a long journey. A lot of tears, but a lot of happy memories as well,” Liston said. “I’ve been the leading scorer all four years, which is a pretty exciting thing. This year was a great way to go out. We had a winning season, we scored a lot of goals and played really well as a team.”
For Liston, these accomplishments required much hard work and dedication on the pitch.
“I’ve played travel soccer going on eight years, I put in a lot of work in the winter season and the spring season working up to the high school season,” Liston said. “I’ve put in a lot of training sessions, working on free kicks and different moves. There’s been a lot of hours of practice.”
The hard work was worth it for Liston, just to earn the recognition, both for herself and for her community.
“I’m glad I’m getting recognized, because it’s kind of hard to be recognized coming from Preston, but I’ve put in the work and the time,” Liston said. “I’ve pushed to get my name out there, to get Preston out there, especially. Getting recognized for these awards really means a lot me.”
Rodney Liston, Olivia’s father and head coach at Preston, reflected on the impact his daughter had at the school, including how a player of her caliber helped drive the team toward more success.
“She’s had a large impact on the group. She’s been a starter in every game she’s able,” he said. “Her leadership and her soccer IQ mixed with her skills all bleeds out into the rest of the team, and it made us a better group.”
In turn, Olivia Liston is thankful for the bonds she’s created through the sport, and the teammates through the years that turned to friendships and shaped her into the athlete and person she has become.
“It’s been a long road, but it’s a good team bonding experience,” Liston said. “I’ve created a lot of friendships that will last a long time. The girls have pushed me a lot and it made me a better player.”
As Liston wraps up her time at Preston, she prepares to head off to Wheeling Jesuit next fall to join the soccer program. The Cardinals compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Mountain East Conference.
“I’m very excited to be a Cardinal,” Liston said.