Interlake Saints girls soccer team senior defender Olivia Benson juggles the soccer ball on the sidelines prior to the start of practice on Sept. 12 at Interlake High School in Bellevue. Benson relishes being a senior leader on the soccer pitch for her team. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Interlake Saints girls soccer team senior defender Olivia Benson juggles the soccer ball on the sidelines prior to the start of practice on Sept. 12 at Interlake High School in Bellevue. Benson relishes being a senior leader on the soccer pitch for her team. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Benson shuts down opposing teams’ offenses

Interlake senior Olivia Benson expects her team to be competitive in 2018.

Playing left defender on a soccer field is very much like being a cornerback on the football field.

The coveted spot on the field takes speed, knowledge of the sport and an ability to mirror the opposing team’s most prolific scoring threats. Interlake senior Olivia Benson, who has been on the Saints varsity soccer roster since her freshman season in 2015, thoroughly embraces the formidable challenge of her left defender position.

“I am challenging super fast-paced, super talented players with really strong footwork,” Benson said of the players she goes up against on a regular basis. “Playing defense you have to make sure not to get beat, be patient and not just diving in (for the ball).”

Although the Saints soccer program has lost more games than they’ve won in the past few seasons, Benson believes wholeheartedly that will change this fall.

“The goal this year is to just do our best. We have a very different team this year with a lot of young players. Right now we are building that chemistry. We want to bring that challenge to all of these teams who are typically and historically better than us. We want to be competitive against everyone,” Benson explained.

Throughout the summer, Benson looked forward to what her senior season on the Interlake soccer program would like.

The time has finally arrived.

“I have waited a long time to be in this position. I have played all four years and now that I’m finally here in a leadership position is just so exciting. I just love this team and it’s so fun to lead it,” she said.

Recently the Bellevue Reporter had an opportunity to ask Benson a few questions about her life away from the soccer field.

Bellevue Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Olivia Benson: “The Notebook.” It makes me cry every time in a good way.

BR: What is your biggest pet peeve?

OB: It is slow walkers, especially when it’s in the hallways. I typically have a faster pace, so slow walkers are pretty annoying.

BR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?

OB: I was named after Olivia Benson from “Law & Order SVU” (television show). It was my parents’ favorite show when my mom was pregnant with me.

BR: What is your favorite restaurant in Bellevue?

OB: Cactus (Mexican restaurant). My family goes there for every occasion. We go there for birthdays and just any celebration.

BR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?

OB: Princess Diana. I have always been interested in her. My mom is really interested in her. I think it would be really interesting. She was a people person.

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