When asked about his team, Noblesville girls’ soccer coach Mike Brady says, “As a coach, you can’t know if a team will go on to win a championship, but I got the feeling this team was special because they worried more about each other than themselves.”
On Nov. 2, the Noblesville Girls’ Soccer Team won the Class 3A State Championship after defeating Carmel 1 to 0. The win was even sweeter not only because it was the first time the Millers won the title, but because they held off the defending, 11-time champion Carmel from scoring. Hard work, hours of practice and dedication all came together to create an undefeated season. Along the way, a culture working together and caring for each other like family was created.
“This team stepped into Miller soccer culture beginning this summer,” Brady says. “The culture has been built for years by all the players who have worn the Noblesville jersey before them. Some members have had already been a part of the culture for the past couple of years but all embraced our mantra of ‘We Are Together’.”
Originally from southern California, Brady moved to Indianapolis after getting a master’s degree at San Diego State. He began coaching soccer when he became a Noblesville High School English teacher 24 years ago. Although he has coached both boys and girls, he has spent the last 17 years as the girls’ varsity coach.
When asked about the highlights of the championship game, Brady says, “Scoring the goal and the way we defended for 80 minutes was important. Each of our players won their individual battles throughout the game. But even with all these highlights, something important happened before the game even began.
“I told the team to ‘win the walkout’. The walkout is when the two teams walk out together and get introduced. During the walkout, I could see by the way our team members were carrying themselves, that they weren’t cocky, but confident.”
Although the team’s six seniors will not be returning next year, future players will likely benefit from the culture they contributed. Brady feels the team will continue to succeed as long as they maintain their values. He is grateful for the support he has had from the Noblesville community.
“The crowds, including parents, students, and the community, were encouraging all year,” Brady says. “We’re going to go into next season as the defending state champs and as a team that didn’t lose a game the past season, so we’ll know what a win against us will mean to our opponents. But we’ll be just fine as long as we maintain our culture and have the support of Noblesville which will allow us to continue to thrive and grow together.”
Brady has some advice to future soccer players, “Dream big and if you want to really enjoy your dreams when they come true, dream together. I told the team before the game that it would be a bunch of very good soccer players vs. a family — and the result was that the family won.”