Two UWM alums making history in the World Cup

For the first time in program history, former members of the Milwaukee women’s soccer team will be making an appearance on the sport’s biggest stage in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this week.

A pair of sisters, Chandler McDaniel and Olivia Davies-McDaniel, are on the roster of the Philippines national team, which is the first male or female squad from the country to qualify for the event. Their mother is Filipino.

Olivia played in goal for the Panthers from 2016 to 2019, part of a very successful four-year stretch where the team went 62-9-8 overall, including a 32-1-3 record in regular-season Horizon League play. She posted a 1.13 goals-against average as a freshman, and didn’t allow a goal her junior year.

Chandler McDaniel played for UWM in 2018 and 2019 after transferring from Virginia Tech. (Milwaukee Athletics photo)

Chandler transferred to Milwaukee after two years at Virginia Tech and started all 19 games in 2018, finishing the season with one goal and two assists. She made a great first impression, assisting the game-winner in the season opener against Northern Illinois, and helped the team to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and 2019.

Olivia enters the World Cup slated to be the first-string goalkeeper. She played a key role in helping the Philippines qualify for its first-ever World Cup when her team faced Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in January. The winner of that match would earn a spot in the World Cup.

Olivia held Taipei to just one goal as regular time ended in a 1-1 draw. In the shootout, she saved two shots and scored one of her own as the Filipinas won the shootout, 4-3.

“Even before this game, I kept saying to myself, ‘We are going to win,’” Olivia told “I prayed before and after each spot-kick. Even when we missed two penalties, I believed we could come out on top. I had faith.

“This was the first time the Philippines had made it to a FIFA World Cup, for either men’s and women’s teams. After the celebrations were done, I just stood on the field and had a sigh of relief. It was then I began to realize what we had achieved.”

Click on the photo for video highlights from the Philippine-Chinese Taipei Asian Cup match.

Olivia first played an international match in 2021, and this year has played in 15 international matches for the Philippine national team. In those games, she has played 1,291 minutes, posting a 1.31 goals-against average and three shutouts.

Chandler played her first international match in 2022 but suffered an injury in qualifying. She returned to the national team in April 2023 after a 16-month rehab from a torn ACL, playing in the opening match of the 2024 AFC Olympic qualifiers.

The Philippine team will begin World Cup play against Switzerland on July 21, then face co-host New Zealand on July 25 and Norway on July 30 in the opening group stage. The top two teams from that group will advance to the knockout stage.

The matches will be televised on FS1 and Universo. Because the broadcasts are live, they will be shown in the early morning hours in Milwaukee.

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