GCC soccer’s Nate Ward commits to Hoosiers

Saturday, August 31, 2019 | 7:18 PM

Nate Ward plays with emotion. You can see it when he scores a goal or if a penalty doesn’t go his team’s way on the soccer field.

His facial expressions say it all.

So it was no surprise the senior from Greensburg Central Catholic had a big smile on his face as he walked around the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington on Saturday.

The smile curled up and stayed awhile after the Hoosiers offered him a scholarship Saturday — during an official visit — and he accepted, punctuating his dream to play Division I college soccer.

“Since the first email, coach (Todd) Yeagley and coach (Kevin) Robson have treated my family and I as if we were their own,” said Ward, who missed GCC’s football game Saturday at Riverview. He is the kicker. “I had a great time at the summer camp and this weekend has been an experience I won’t forget.”

Ward, a crafty midfielder, has visited a number of other programs and had interest from schools such as Dayton and Xavier.

“None (of the other programs) measure up to the history and experience that comes with IU,” Ward said. “They have the most NCAA championships, the most college cup appearances, the most NCCAA tournament victories… and more. Coach Yeagley and his father, (former Indiana head coach) Jerry Yeagley, form one of the most humble and successful coaching staffs in college soccer.”

Ward plans to attend the Kelley School of Business.

He had 25 goals and 13 assists last season for GCC as the Centurions reached the WPIAL Class A championship and PIAA semifinals.

“(Indiana) has a great mindset and gives 100 percent effort, 100 percent of the time,” Ward said. “As seen (Friday) night against Pitt in that 3-2 win.”

Ward, who also plays basketball and runs track at GCC, will be the third sibling in his family to play Division I soccer. Sarah Ward is a senior at St. Francis (Pa.), and Sydney Ward is a sophomore at Akron. Both of them played at GCC.

They are from Connellsville.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.


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