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Bulldogs' Holloway nets his final goal
Notre Dame senior Joda Holloway made countless trips to St. Louis for soccer practice and games.
Those thousands of miles on the Holloway family vehicles paid off.
Holloway plans to play soccer at Saint Louis University in the fall.
"I wanted to be somewhere that I could get home pretty much that night," Holloway said. "I'm really close to my grandparents, and if anything would happen to one of them, I wanted to be home. ... I kind of had a three-hour radius, so I was kind of looking at schools in there."
Holloway, a midfielder, played an integral part in helping the Bulldogs reach three straight Class 2 final fours, including winning a pair of state titles. He finished this season with 10 goals and 10 assists. He scored four game-winning goals.
Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn pointed to Holloway's leadership on the field as his greatest strength.
"Leadership is very important out on the field, and Joda is a player that leads by example and is very positive in the way he works with his teammates," Wittenborn said. "He's played a lot of soccer, and he's played a lot of soccer at a high level."
It was Holloway's trips to St. Louis to play with a club team that really helped him catch the eye of Division I coaches. He said that he considered the University of Indiana and Illinois-Chicago in addition to Saint Louis University.
"I've played a whole lot of club soccer," Holloway said. "It started when I was in probably about the fourth grade and I've played ever since then. The last couple of years -- sophomore, junior and senior year -- I've been traveling up to St. Louis to play with a club up there called Scott Gallagher. That's when I started to get some exposure and getting looked at by some different colleges."
Holloway said it took a little while to get used to the drive for club practices, but that it's his parents who deserve the credit for making the sacrifice to drive him so often.
"I wanted to play college soccer at a really high level, Division I for sure," Holloway said. "I pretty much knew that's what it was going to take to reach that level. It took a while to get used to the ride."
Holloway isn't the only player from the Bulldogs' run who will play college soccer in the fall. Goalkeeper Ryan Bass committed to play at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., a Division II program.
Bass recently was named the Class 2 goalkeeper of the year.
"The number of goals he has given up has just been minuscule," Wittenborn said. "That allows your defenders to play a little bit more aggressive because they know they have Ryan behind them."