Notre Dame’s goalkeeper enters this season ready to take the number one job and run with it.
Last season, junior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull split the duties between the pipes for the University of Notre Dame with senior Ryan Krutz. After appearing in zero regular season matches his first two years on campus, Turnbull boasted impressive stats in his first collegiate action, allowing only four goals in ten matches. “I just knew I had to keep working hard in training to try to get my chance,” he explained. “Once I got on the field, I knew my teammates were going to do their jobs in front of me and then I just had to do mine. We have so many people helping us succeed that I knew I would be prepared when I go some game time. Now, we’re looking to build on last season and win a National Championship.”
While the season didn’t end in a national title, Notre Dame did get to the quarterfinals after two narrow victories in the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish are motivated entering 2019. “I think the whole team is itching to get back on the field. We were so close to the College Cup last year and now that we have experienced a taste of what it takes to win some tournament games, we are ready to get back to work,” Turnbull said. “Our goal every year is to win the national championship and this year is no different. The whole team has been working hard since we lost in the quarterfinals last year and we are ready to go this year.”
Duncan is not new to the position by any means, but he did not play it his entire soccer career. “I started playing goalkeeper for a half every game when I was in sixth grade. I started playing full time goalkeeper in high school but I think playing on the field until then gave me a better understanding of the game as a whole,” he said. I asked who his favorite goalkeeper was growing up and he answered, “I have always been a Manchester United fan, so my favorite goalkeepers were Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, and now David De Gea.”
Soccer was always a part of the Turnbull household, especially given the fact that his father played for the University of Akron. “It has been tremendously helpful,” he said about his dad’s college soccer experience impacting his journey. “From the second I started playing soccer, he was coaching my teams and teaching me the game. He initially was my main draw to soccer, and we’ve bonded over it ever since. He’s a great asset preparing for games and analyzing them afterwards. I can always count on him to give me honest feedback regardless of my performance. All of my siblings play soccer and both my parents have been very supportive through the years.”
Thankfully, Duncan going to Notre Dame did not move him too far away from his family in Geneva, IL. He admitted he did not grow up a fan of the Fighting Irish, but that he hooked once he stepped on campus the first time. “My younger brother played a tournament in South Bend when I was in middle school and ever since then, it was a goal of mine to attend and play soccer at the University of Notre Dame. The campus drew me in and the chance to play for one of the best soccer teams in the country and get a degree from one of the top schools in the world made it an easy decision,” he explained.
Duncan Turnbull and his teammates will look to bring the title back to South Bend, Illinois for the second time in school history. The Fighting Irish kick off the regular season tomorrow at Saint Louis on ESPN+. The match is set to start at 8 PM Eastern Time.