Becker signs with HU men's soccer

release provided by Justin Shockey, Herald Press
FOR RELEASE
2014-01-20

M Soccer Becker
HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Huntington North soccer captain Danny Becker ensured his soccer career would continue through to the next level on Friday after officially signing with the Huntington University men’s soccer program.

 

Becker, a four-year varsity letter winner for the Vikings soccer team, said continuing to play soccer collegiately has always been a goal.

“I’ve always wanted to play college soccer my entire life,” Becker said. “I’ve played soccer since I was four so it’s been my ultimate goal to just go onto college to play soccer. After I went on a recruiting visit to HU and I met all the guys I just loved it. It definitely seemed like the right fit for me.”

Becker’s dream of playing college soccer seemed to be a sure shot after he contributed quality minutes in both his freshman and sophomore soccer seasons throughout high school. However, that dream was put into question after an ACL injury sidelined Becker during his junior season. Rather than giving up on his dreams, and his sport, Becker put in the work necessary to lace back up even stronger for his senior campaign.

“It was definitely a major setback,” Becker said. “It was disappointing, and I really had to push through to be where I am now; to be able to compete at a high level. However everything is back to normal now, and I was just recently cleared to play without my knee brace so I’m ready to take to the pitch again.”

Coming back from the injury during his senior season, Becker captained the team’s midfield where he proved to be a major offensive and defensive force. During the team’s struggling 1-4-1 start to the season, the Viking senior captain kept his team pushing forward by scoring goals in four of those opening six matchups.

“To me, when a kid goes through an injury like that, his or her character really comes out,” Huntington North head coach Steve Saddington said.

“They could either pout or have a pity party, or they could get up and be better. Danny never complained about his injury.

“He still viewed himself as a key role during his junior season and, although he was frustrated, he still salvaged that year and made the most of it by being a leader for our guys vocally,” he added. “Then this past year he really stepped up and was a leader both on and off the field for us. He made All-Conference and he was definitely a critical component in the middle of the field for us.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better captain and leader for our team.”

Huntington University head coach Russ Lawson said he’s been looking at Becker as a potential Forester for quite a few years.

“We noticed him when he first started coming up through the junior high camps and things like that,” Lawson said. “Ever since then you could definitely notice that he had a very solid tactical foundation to the game. He displayed good vision to where he could see the field and see his teammates before getting the ball to them.

“I see him coming in as a holding midfielder, but I also possibly see him on the outside in the back because he not only has that grit and that discipline to the game, but he also has that attack mentality to where he can get up in the offensive third on an overlapping run scenario.”

Lawson said he expects big things from Becker down the road while he wears the Forester green and white.

“When he got back from his surgery, it was definitely evident that his play had not dropped off from the surgery,” he said. “In fact, I think there’s still a very large upside to him knowing that he’s just a year and a half removed from his surgery. We’re hoping for some big things from him down the road.”

Becker’s father, Tim Becker, said he’s excited to see his son’s hard work paying off as he takes the next step in his soccer career.

“It broke his heart when he went down with his injury, but it’s great to see that he was able to get up and get back on that horse for a great senior year,” he said. “It’s nice to see the hard work paying off and now he gets to play at the next level. We’re excited for him.”

Becker said he’s just glad to be playing the sport he loves for at least four more years.

“Ever since I started playing soccer I have just loved it,” he said. “I’m really excited just to be playing again and I want to just keep playing through college to see where it takes me.”

Becker said he plans on studying athletic training during his undergraduate studies at Huntington University so that, in the future, he can become a physical therapist.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 213 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.
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