Sep 2, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior forward Harrison Shipp has never missed a match during his Notre Dame men’s soccer career and odds are he hasn’t missed very many classes at the University either.
Shipp (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) recently was named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer division. Shipp, a Fighting Irish team captain, is one of 30 student-athletes up for the prestigious honor.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School Â®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
“One of the reasons I came to Notre Dame was that the school offered more than just a soccer-playing experience,” Shipp said. “It’s nice to be recognized for those things besides just soccer. Obviously this time of year there is a major emphasis on soccer, but I think it’s important to keep those other aspects in mind because it is such an important part of the South Bend community.”
Shipp began his senior class schedule early last week and finished the week helping No. 7 Notre Dame capture its second straight adidas/IU Credit Union Classic title. The Irish tied No. 9 UCLA, 0-0, Friday and topped SMU, 2-1, Sunday. Those were the 61st and 62nd consecutive matches he has played at Notre Dame.
Shipp’s career figures of 11 goals and 14 assists are the most of any current Notre Dame player. Last season, he tallied career-high totals in goals (6) and assists (6) and was named Third Team All-BIG EAST and Second Team All-Great Lakes Region. He was a key part of Notre Dame’s 17-4-1 campaign that saw the Irish win the BIG EAST Championship and earn the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA Championship.
A dean’s list selection each of the last five semesters, Shipp boasts a 3.883 cumulative GPA as a finance major in Notre Dame’s nationally-ranked Mendoza College of Business. He was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team for excelling both on the field and in the classroom. Along with being one of the top players on the Notre Dame squad, he is a two-time recipient of the team’s Knute Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award (2011 & 2012) and was a BIG EAST Academic All-Star on three occasions (2010-12).
While Shipp clearly has an impressive academic resume, his does not stand alone on the Fighting Irish squad. Fifth-year senior Grant Van De Casteele, a Senior CLASS Award candidate last season, was named the 2012-13 BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Shipp and Van De Casteele, a central defender, are two of nine Irish players that boast over a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average.
“There’s a lot of joking around on the team (about the competitiveness when it comes to academics),” Shipp said. “Grant (Van De Casteele) likes to call himself the smartest guy on the team. Last year’s freshman class did really well grade-wise and I think that kind of put some pressure on the older guys to not be lower than the team average GPA, which has been raised every year since I’ve been here.”
Shipp and the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates participate in numerous service initiatives in the South Bend/Notre Dame community. He also has been heavily involved in service work, including Habitat for Humanity, in his hometown of Lake Forest, Ill. In addition, Shipp is a member of Notre Dame’s Rosenthal Leadership Academy, which develops, challenges and supports student-athletes and coaches in their continual quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life.
“We’ve got some amazing student-athletes on our team,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “Harry is a fantastic representative as a captain because he’s a terrific player and he’s a wonderful student. He’s not a guy that goes looking for the limelight. He’s actually a very quiet leader who leads by example. Harry is a tremendous candidate (for the Senior CLASS Award).”
The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men’s College CupÂ® championships in December.
— Sean Carroll