Lifelong friends will play together at Northwestern

From left to right, Bridget Mitchell, Ingrid Falls, and Nicole Doucette will all continue their soccer and academic careers at Northwestern University next Fall.

AJ Shaw

From left to right, Bridget Mitchell, Ingrid Falls, and Nicole Doucette will all continue their soccer and academic careers at Northwestern University next Fall.

AJ Shaw, Sports Editor

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From a young age, seniors Bridget Mitchell,  Nicole Doucette, and Ingrid Falls had something special about them.

Not only were the three girls immensely talented on the soccer field, but they had a connection that began in the Lake Forest Soccer Association (LFSA) and will continue for the next four years at Northwestern University.

“We just have great chemistry together,” said Doucette. “We are always able to find each other on the field and also are able to know where we are going to be.”

Both Falls and Mitchell met through LFSA in second grade, while Doucette joined the pair two years later in fourth grade. They would go on to play together from that year up until earlier this year when Mitchell joined a new club team.

“One of the earliest memories that we all had was in 5th grade,” said Falls. “We had the ‘Dream Team’ with a bunch of girls in our grade.” 

The ‘Dream Team’ would go on to win three straight Illinois State Cup championships from 2014 to 2016. 

“Those championship games were intense,” said Falls. “[It is funny to look back at it] because it really isn’t as important now as it was then, but we used to get hyped before those games.”

The three girls also competed in many tournaments around the country like California, Florida, and Las Vegas. 

“Our teammate had a free-kick from near midfield,” said Mitchell, recalling one of the tournaments. “It was a very long kick, but she was able to score and I just remember everyone on our team was dogpiling each other. It was an amazing moment.” 

After a very successful run throughout their middle school years, the three entered high school looking to the future when it came to soccer. 

Doucette, who’s father played college soccer at Loyola University in Chicago, was interested in staying close to home so her family could see her play more often.

“I looked at a lot of schools in the area, mainly schools in the Big Ten, like Iowa and Illinois. The farthest I was willing to go was like four hours away.” 

The girls celebrate scoring a goal at age 12. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Doucette)

Meanwhile, Falls and Mitchell were attending many ID camps with Ivy League schools like Brown and Harvard. Mitchell also received interest from Illinois, and Falls was looking at Wisconsin and Vanderbilt, but she initially had no interest in intending Northwestern.

“I just felt it was too close to home,” said Falls, in response to why she didn’t want to go to there initially. “Academics are very important to me, but I wasn’t going to get the opportunity with soccer at Harvard or Brown like I was going to get a Big Ten school.” 

While visiting Northwestern, Falls saw a change of heart and started to feel more comfortable about the situation after seeing the new athletic facility and meeting with the coaches.

“The coaches were great guys and I really enjoyed getting to know them,” said Falls.

After contemplating between going to either Loyola or Northwestern, Doucette became the first of the three to commit to Northwestern, followed by Falls deciding shortly after.

Meanwhile, Mitchell was in the same spot as Falls, wanting to go to Ivy League school for academics, but also knowing that she wasn’t going to get the same opportunities at an Ivy League school athletically and she would get in the Big Ten.

“When it came down to my decision, I felt Northwestern gave me the best opportunity when it came to getting a scholarship and that was why I went there.” 

Surprisingly, the three did not influence each others decision on choosing to go to Northwestern, but they were all quite excited to be attending college together and playing on the same team again.

“I am really excited to be going to school with them,” said Mitchell.

All three are looking forward to the future when it comes to playing soccer as well as any future endeavors they will face off the field. Mitchell is excited to meet many new faces and Falls is looking forward to finding a future career to study for.

Doucette, who tore her ACL last season, is looking forward to getting back on the field after a six-month rehab and is looking forward to the competition that she will be facing in the future. 

All three are expected to sign officially with Northwestern on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.