April 16, 2014
Vanderbilt soccer will introduce each member of its 2014 signing class over the next few weeks. We continue with a standout goalkeeper from Cherry Hill, N.J.: Christiana Ogunsami
Her jersey number is 32 because her favorite basketball player is Shaquille O’Neal. Her favorite sport to play off the pitch is basketball. And, at 5-foot-10, she is a stellar player in the post on the high school circuit.
But Christiana Ogunsami can’t escape her roots. The daughter of a former collegiate star at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, Ogunsami began playing soccer when she was 4 years old. And this fall, she’ll continue playing the sport when she arrives at Vanderbilt as a freshman goalkeeper.
“Christiana was a very good basketball player for many years and when she decided to concentrate on soccer, her game rose to a new level,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Greene said. “If Christiana has the right mentality to compete and get better every day, she has a very promising career ahead of her for us in the goal.”
A first-team all-conference selection the past three seasons and first-team All South Jersey regional selection the last two years, Ogunsami made an impressive 137 saves during her senior season at Cherry Hill West High School.
On the club circuit, she helped Continental FC Delco win the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association state cup championship and the Bethesda tournament championship.
“The first time we saw Christiana we knew she had the exact frame you want to see in a keeper at this level,” Greene said. “She has excellent range on crosses, tremendous hands, and has the ability to be a big-time shot stopper in the future.”
Not only has she started on the soccer team the last years, she has also been in the starting five on the basketball team. In addition, she is a thrower for the track and field team.
She also plays the cello and plans to study neuroscience at Vanderbilt to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon.
Personal: Doyinsola Temitope Ogunsami... Prefers to be called Christiana… Nickname: Ludacris… Born Jan. 11, 1996 in Newark, N.J. ... Daughter of Ayodele and Oyinlola Ogunsami… Father, Ayodele, is an engineer, and mother, Oyinlola, is an accountant… Her father played soccer at the University of Lagos in Nigeria… Has two younger brothers, Ayotunde (17) and Dolapo (18)… Plans to major in neuroscience.
(Photo courtesy of Christiana Ogunsami)