Twins carry special bond on and off the field

Maher Kawash, Staff Reporter

Sophmores Tyler and Justin Oliver have combined for five points for the Eastern Men’s Soccer Team. Tyler has two goals and one assist and Justin has one goal and one assist.
Chynna Miller
Sophmores Tyler and Justin Oliver have combined for five points for the Eastern Men’s Soccer Team. Tyler has two goals and one assist and Justin has one goal and one assist.

It is one thing to be a Division I soccer player, but rarely do you find twin brothers to be talented enough to play collegiate soccer at the same school together.

That is the case for twin sophomore brothers Justin and Tyler Oliver.

The twins have escalated their relationship from being brothers to teammates as they have been on the same soccer team for the past 14 years.

“I probably would not be playing here or anywhere else for that matter because we are fine players without each other, but a whole other lever when with each other,” Tyler said.

Growing up in the suburbs of Oakdale, Minnesota, the twins began their soccer careers by playing in recreational leagues at age six, then started playing travel soccer at age 14.

“Soccer has definitely made us closer as we have gone through some great highs and lows together on the field,” Justin said.

In high school, the twins took their success to another level as they led their team to winning the Minnesota State High School Championship during their senior year.

“It makes the game much easier when you know exactly where one person will be, and are thinking the same exact thing as you,” Tyler said.

After more than a decade of being on the same team, the twins have built a special bond on the field as well as off the field.

According to Tyler, between being brothers, teammates, and roommates, they are around each other 95 percent of the time.

“We played all the same sports growing up so we’ve always been on the same teams which naturally leads us to having the same friend groups,” Tyler said.

When the time came to decide where to continue their soccer careers and education, it was a no-brainer for the twins.

“We could have each played at other D-1 colleges, but we wanted to play together because we are so much better when we play together rather than apart,” Justin said.

That decision has proved to be a good one after the twin connection led Eastern to victory in a game against Robert Morris University on Sept. 6.

In the 97th minute of the game, Justin was able to connect with Tyler for a breakaway game-winning goal in overtime.

“That game-winning goal was easily one of my favorite moments of playing soccer with my brother because it was an overtime goal that only happened because of Justin’s pass,” Tyler said.

The twins clearly have a connection on and off the field, and their head coach, Kiki Lara, has taken notice.

“You can tell they are always on the same page, but the one or two times they are not causes them to get pretty agitated with each other which is pretty funny to watch,” Lara said. “It is also very fun to watch them combine and use one another to get a shot off or create chances to score.”

Justin and Tyler both have a love for the game of soccer, but that was not the only sport they had talent in.

“If we didn’t play college soccer we would be playing junior hockey to try and play D-1 hockey which was also an option we could have pursued,” Justin said.

No matter what the sport is, it is clear that the twins carry that special bond no matter what they are doing.

Along with their brotherhood and similar interests, they clearly look identical.

During a club soccer game, Tyler had already been issued a yellow card, and later in the game Justin was issued one as well. But after the ref gave Justin the yellow card, he gave him a red card because he thought that was his second one of the game.

There are certainly many special moments made between the twins and their success will continue to thrive off of each other.

“I would not be 1/10th the player I am now without Justin, and I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him and vice versa,” Tyler said.


Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]