For Brad Shaw, Indiana University’s soccer national championship was the icing on the cake.
The Columbus North senior already was leaning toward committing to play for the Hoosiers beginning this fall. He made it official Sunday when he signed a national letter-of-intent.
“IU was really the only place I really wanted to go, even before they won,” Shaw said. “They’ve won a lot of national championships, so I knew they had a strong background, and they have something good going there.”
Shaw, who led North to a state soccer title and Columbus to the state rugby crown in 2012, was in a unique situation in that he not only had his choice of schools but a choice of sports. A high school All-American in both soccer and rugby, he was considering playing rugby instead.
Shaw said he was also considering the University of Indianapolis, Louisville and Xavier for soccer and Lindenwood (Mo.), Arkansas and Arizona State for rugby.
“Trying to decide what to do since the start of my senior year has been so tough,” Shaw said. “This is a big weight off my back.”
Shaw’s brother Lewis plays rugby for Indiana University.
“I don’t really have much family here,” Shaw said. “My brother goes there, and it’s not too far away. It’s one of the only schools I know about, so it just seemed like the right fit for me.”
At IU, Shaw will join former North teammates Dylan Lax and Matt McKain, who helped the Hoosiers win the national championship.
“I’m really excited that Brad is getting the opportunity to play with two other Columbus North alumni in Dylan Lax and Matt McKain,” North coach Andy Glover said. “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for Brad. He’s entering a championship environment where expectations are high and performance levels are high, and that’s the type of environment Brad’s proven to thrive in.”
Shaw has given up rugby and is playing soccer for the Indiana Fire Developmental Academy, a junior team for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire. The squad is ranked fourth in the nation for academy teams.
“We’re really excited to have Brad join our program. He’s had great success at Columbus North in leading them to a state championship,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said. “He has a lot of things we can’t teach with athletic tools with strength and speed and size. Anytime you recruit, you look at several factors, and one of the things about Brad is, his upside growth is big.”
Shaw led the Bull Dogs with 17 goals and eight assists as a forward/outside midfielder and scored the lone goal in North’s Class 2A state championship game win over Warsaw. Yeagley said he could play anywhere on the field.
“He’s had success at the high school and the youth level in the front half,” Yeagley said. “His ability around goal is strong, but he also has the skill sets for moving back in the field. We really won’t know until he gets in with our players and starts to assimilate, and we see where his strengths lie.”
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