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Getting To Know Men's Soccer's Mark Gormley

Nov. 11, 2016

As told to Christian Kirby (’20)

Far from your average striker, University of Notre Dame men’s soccer senior Mark Gormley (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Shattuck-St. Mary’s) reveals what it’s like being one of the oldest, yet shortest, players on the team, gives his best one-word description of head coach Bobby Clark, and more in this getting to know piece.

Gormley has scored a career-high five goals over his first 19 matches (six starts) in 2016, ranking third in goals on the Notre Dame roster this season. He has tallied eight total goals over the past two seasons for the Irish.

Gormley is enrolled in the College of Science as a pre-professional (pre-med) studies major, and has been named to the Dean’s List in each of his first six semesters at Notre Dame.

Q. What’s your favorite place in Minneapolis?
A. I’d have to say the Lake Harriet Band Shell. I usually go down there, listen to some music, eat some food and hang out. It’s a nice, relaxing place to be.

Q. Why did you pick jersey No. 26?
A. Originally, that was the number I was given. My birthday is also August 26, so I figured I would keep it. I’m kind of superstitious.

Q. Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?
A. I have to listen to the same two songs before every game: “About the Money” by T.I. and “Everlasting Life.”

Q. What’s your favorite location on campus?
A. I don’t really have a specific spot, but I like going to the other side of the lakes where it’s quiet. It reminds me of Minneapolis.

Q. Who is your favorite professional athlete?
A. I have to go with Lionel Messi because he’s so fun to watch in every single game he plays. I also like the fact that he’s undersized.

Q. You have lived in Brazil and Barcelona each for several months. What was that like?
A. I was in Brazil for three months with teams from all around the world including ones from Benin, China, Kazakhstan and Haiti. It was a fun experience getting to know a lot of different cultures. I also spent six months in Barcelona with a host family and played with a local team. It was a different experience than Brazil, but it was a lot of fun.

Q. What’s your favorite off-the-field team memory?
A. One of the best times was when the team went on an elephant walk in Africa. Basically, the players from my graduating class and those from the class above ours went to see some wild elephants on a safari in Zimbabwe, which has definitely been my favorite highlight off the field.

Q. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
A. Chocolate ice cream.

Q. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?
A. I’d say Will Smith because he’s that cool guy that everyone looks up to.

Q. What’s your dream vacation?
A. I’d love to visit Thailand. I’ve been to most continents at least for a little bit, but I haven’t really been able to go around Asia as much as I’d like to. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about Thailand from people I know that have visited.

Q. What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
A. I really like to draw. I mostly enjoy drawing famous people like athletes and musicians.

Q. Which teammates do you spend time with off the field?
A. I spend a lot of time with the teammates in my graduating class. I live with five other soccer players in my class, and another is usually always over at our house, so it’s usually the seven of us just hanging out.

Q. Do your teammates ever tease you for being one of the shorter players on the team (at 5-8)?
A. Surprisingly, I don’t get teased as much for being short, but for being older than most of the other guys. I’m actually 23 years old because I took a gap year, which makes me pretty old I guess. Boss (head coach Bobby Clark) still calls me one of the “young strikers” because I usually enter the game with one of the younger guys, so I do get made fun of for being the 23-year-old young striker.

Q. If you could describe head coach Bobby Clark in one word, what would it be?
A. Wise.