Outstanding Senior Male Athlete: Harry Shipp
Isaac Lorton | Friday, May 16, 2014
Three senior captains were chosen to lead the Irish in 2013; two were vocal defenders who, side by side, formed the heart of a staunch Irish defense, but the other captain was a silent forward who led the team by example.
Senior Harrison Shipp did not say much, but when he did his words did not go unnoticed.
“He’s a phenomenal player; he’s one of the best players I’ve ever had in the program,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “You know, being a captain is something new for him, but he [is] a very good captain. He’s one of these quiet captains; he doesn’t say much, but when he does speak, everybody listens. That’s who he is.”
A man of few words, Shipp preferred to allow his play to lead the team, and it did, as he led the Irish to their first national championship. Shipp was named the 2013 College Cup co-Most Outstanding Player, alongside the nation’s leading scorer, Maryland’s senior forward Patrick Mullins.
“I think those two [defenders], Grant [Van De Casteele] and [Andrew] O’Malley, are a little more vocal and outspoken as a leader than I am, but I think on the field, actions speak louder than words,” Shipp said.
“I think where I did really well was in the last few minutes of the games to make key plays happen that would help us win games.”
Shipp led the Irish with 12 goals, five of them game-winners, and 10 assists in 2013, which brought his career total to 23 goals and 24 assists.
“Harry was our ‘wee wizard’ as I like to call him,” Clark said. “He was able to generate a piece of magic every time we needed a piece of magic.”
Shipp was an integral part of the Irish offense in the 2012 season, playing alongside former Irish midfielder Dillon Powers and forward Ryan Finley. Both Powers and Finley were drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, which left Shipp as the anchor of the team’s new offensive attack in 2013.
“One thing we wanted to focus on [in 2013] was not replacing those two guys, because they were two great players who are doing well in the pros now,” Shipp said. “So we implemented a new style where we’re more fluid and everyone in the attack interchanges.
“I think it really helped playing the first few years with Dillon [Powers] and Ryan [Finley]; they showed me what it took to be really successful,” Shipp said. “Our team chemistry [in 2013] really contributed to my success … everyone understood where to get the ball and to find the right spots, everyone around me put me in a spot to succeed.”
In four seasons, Shipp did not miss a game. He said his consistency, dedication and competitiveness did not go unnoticed by his teammates.
“I like to compete,” Shipp said. “I’ve had a lot of small injuries. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any significant injuries. We’ve had some guys tear their ACLs and stuff, which is always incredibly sad. I think just not ever wanting to miss a game, it shows teammates that I do want to play every game, no matter how hurt or sore I am.”
Shipp collected numerous accolades over his career, including third team All-Big East, second team All-Great Lakes Region, Academic All-American, and Scholar All-American honors in 2012. In 2013, Shipp was named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, co-Most Outstanding Player, first-team All-American honors, first-team All-ACC, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Scholar All-American, ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to name a few.
Shipp, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., was signed to the Chicago Fire as a homegrown player and has made an instant impact, notching four assists and three goals in eight games, including a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
At the beginning of the season, Shipp said he wanted to see the Irish be the top team in the country, and since then, he helped them accomplished this goal.
“The legacy of the senior class will be the first class to lead Notre Dame to a national championship and look back and see that this class started the transition to become a winning national program and a threat for future national titles,” he said.