Whalens, Fiddes sign with WIU, Garcia with Bradley; Arnold, Inskeep also sign
By JOSH WESSLER
Peoria Journal Star
PEORIA – The Western Illinois men’s soccer team just got a little bit more Irish.
Though St. Patrick’s Day is still a month away, the Leathernecks signed three former Notre Dame standouts on Friday in a proud day for the Irish program.
Along with brothers Drew Whalen and Kevin Whalen committing to WIU, four other former ND players signed letters of intent to compete at the next level.
Ben Fiddes will join the Whalens at WIU after scoring 15 goals and dishing out 22 assists in helping the Irish to the Class 2A state title, a 22-2-2 record and a No. 7 placement in the NSCAA national rankings.
Alex Garcia, who with Drew Whalen was the 2012 Journal Star co-Player of the Year last fall, will follow in the footsteps of older brother Rudy Garcia after signing with Bradley. The 2011 POY as a junior, Garcia posted career-highs in goals (20) and assists (29) as a senior.
Whalen had career highs as well, with 35 goals and 24 assists.
Defender Nick Arnold will continue his playing days at Illinois Central College, which will be losing the services of the WIU-bound Kevin Whalen, who was a member of ND’s state title teams in 2008 and 2010.
Forward Grant Inskeep will compete collegiately as well, but in track and field instead after signing with Missouri.
“They have left their mark on the PND soccer program,” said Irish coach Mike Bare. “I look forward to following their collegiate careers.”