Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 8, 2018*

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 48 of 55 OCT. 8, 2018 49 ND SPORTS BY TODD D. BURLAGE S lightly more than a year after a course-changing meeting between a soccer player, a soccer player's fa- ther, and a Notre Dame soccer coach, Brooke VanDyck still cracks herself up when sharing the story about how she voluntarily traded her care-free days as a high school soccer prodigy for the stresses of a newbie college midfielder at Notre Dame. VanDyck's unique story of how she went from a star student and two-time all-state player at nearby Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., to an early entry college freshman goes like this. Her junior year of high school was completed in the spring of 2018, and already committed to join the Fight- ing Irish soccer program, VanDyck planned to spend the 2018 fall semes- ter at Penn to finish her prep soccer career before graduating a semester early in December, then enrolling at Notre Dame in January 2019 to start a new chapter. Growing up a local soccer legend only about 20 minutes from campus, VanDyck spent a lot of time around Notre Dame, and savored those mo- ments when she was with the soccer program and Irish head coach Nate Norman. Then one casual campus visit, and one off-handed remark, changed all of VanDyck's plans and set a new course to her soccer career, and maybe to more than that. "I can't wait to get to Notre Dame," she casually joked to Norman. "Why can't I come now? Can I come now?" "That got the wheels turning," said Andy VanDyck, Brooke's father who sat in on that memorable meeting. "We started thinking that maybe go- ing to Notre Dame right away was a possibility." Brooke's inquiry of "Can I come now?" had moved into a plan of "I'm going to come now." With adequate credits logged for high school graduation, college entry tests aced, and the necessary due dili- gence and blessing from her parents, Brooke went for it, but not without one final fatherly advisory. "You get to be a kid only so much for so long," Andy reminded his daughter. "How fast do you really want to grow up?" But a choice was already made. Brooke would forfeit a chance at being a three-time team captain, a veteran leader and a dominating high school star to start a new chap- ter as the youngest player on a col- lege team loaded with adult talent in a championship-caliber league. "The decision was extremely tough," Brooke shared. "But it was always my dream to come and play at Notre Dame and try to make an impact. When that opportunity arose, where I could come in early, I just snatched it up." "Just seeing her set a goal," her father added, "and seeing it all the way through, and getting to achieve it, that has been what has made me the most proud." Brooke's early entry decision paid even earlier dividends for Notre Dame when she scored a goal during her first college game in mid-August as a substitute midfielder in a 3-1 win over Central Michigan. A more recent and substantial goal — and indisputably her "I belong here" highlight to date — came late last month when VanDyck came off the bench and tallied the lone score in a 1-0 win at Wake Forest, a second- half game-winner that broke a four- game losing streak for her Irish. Brooke's father called the moment "surreal," adding that, "I'm not sure it has completely sunken in yet." When asked about her magical moment, Brooke responded with an assessment fitting for a college fresh- man, or maybe even a high school senior. "I have the dumbest way of cele- brating goals," she said. "We watched the film and I just kept jumping up and down. It's kind of embarrassing, and I have to work on that." ✦ Women's Soccer's Youngest Star Is Making A Quick Impact VanDyck was a junior all-state player last fall for Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn, which won its second straight state title and was ranked as the best girls' soccer team in the nation by MaxPreps. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH DIGITAL MEDIA Irish Roundup MEN'S GOLF The Fighting Irish finished fifth out of 12 schools at the OTC Collegiate Sept. 24-25 in Winston Salem, N.C. They were led by fresh- man Andrew O'Leary, who carded a 4-under- par 206 in the three-round event to place 12th. Notre Dame will host the Fighting Irish Classic Oct. 7-8 in South Bend. MEN'S SOCCER (4-3-1, 1-1-0 ACC) No. 20 Notre Dame suffered a 1-0 loss in dou- ble overtime to No. 3 North Carolina Sept. 21, but bounced back to knock off No. 22 Xavier 4-1 Sept. 25. The four goals scored in the game were the biggest offensive output by the Irish so far this season. Notre Dame hosted Boston College Sept. 28 before hitting the road for a contest at North- western Oct. 2. WOMEN'S SOCCER (5-6-0, 1-2-0 ACC) The Irish opened ACC play with a 2-0 loss at Louisville Sept. 20, but rebounded to snap their four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at Wake Forest Sept. 23. No. 10 Florida State blanked the Irish 4-0 in South Bend Sept. 27. The next three matches for the Irish will also be at home, starting with North Carolina State Sept. 30. VOLLEYBALL (7-5, 1-1 ACC) Notre Dame snapped a two-match losing streak with a 3-0 win at North Carolina Sept. 21, but fell 3-1 at North Carolina State Sept. 23. The Irish continued their road swing with trips to Clemson Sept. 28 and Georgia Tech Sept. 30. — David McKinney

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 8, 2018*