Franklin Regional's Roberge signs with Northwestern soccer
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Injuries marred Mike Roberge's 2012, but in 2013, the Franklin Regional senior will get a fresh start with a new team.
Roberge signed his National Letter of Intent to join the men's soccer team at Northwestern on Feb. 6, the first day of the open signing period, and his family and coach were at his side when he put pen to paper in the high school's guidance office.
By accepting the offer to play for the Wildcats, Roberge is making good on a verbal commitment he made last spring. He picked the Big Ten school over a group of other schools that made offers, including Xavier and Lafayette, which Roberge said were the other two in his top three.
“It's nice to have all this done, since I've been verbally committed since May,” Roberge said. “It's good to send that letter in and know that I'm officially going there now.”
The senior was the leading scorer for Franklin Regional and his Beadling Soccer Club team in 2011, but an ankle injury that he suffered with Beadling last year put him out of action for both teams in the late summer and fall.
Northwestern's commitment to Roberge never wavered, and the FR senior got support from the Northwestern coaching staff, led by head coach Tim Lenahan.
“My coach (Lenahan) called me and told me to get ready for next year,” Roberge said. “He said to do what I had to do during fall and winter to prepare for spring and fall of this year.”
Roberge is one of two players from western Pennsylvania who will be headed to Northwestern in the fall, as his Beadling teammate and Montour senior Nathan Dearth is also signed with the Wildcats. Together, they will join a team that went 13-6-4 last season and lost to Louisville in the third round (Round of 16) in the NCAA Tournament.
First impressions are important, and Northwestern ended up on Roberge's radar with a small assist from Big Ten opponent Penn State. The first look Roberge got at his future team came in a conference game on Oct. 16, 2011, and a Nittany Lions' loss turned into a gain for the team from just north of Chicago.
“We used to go up every year with the high school team to watch Penn State play on a Sunday,” Roberge said. “We went up there, and Northwestern won, 1-0, on a diving header. I remember that game — good memories.”
One game wasn't all that drew Roberge to Northwestern. His two visits to the campus also sold the senior, who intends to study economics in college.
“No. 1 is the great location. Chicago is an amazing city,” Roberge said. “It's just a beautiful campus, right on Lake Michigan. The great campus and great (athletic) facilities, together with soccer and academics, really made it a great fit for me.”
Making the leap to the Big Ten is a big jump from WPIAL soccer, but Roberge should be prepared after winning two Region 1 titles and twice going to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships with his Beadling team.
As the most successful boys club team from western Pennsylvania in more than a decade, Roberge's team produced eight players who signed scholarship offers from Division I colleges during the first week of the signing period, while others will sign later or play at smaller colleges.
“Watching (Northwestern's) games on TV and going to a couple of their games this year, I can really see myself fitting in there,” Roberge said. “The speed and style of play and the way they use their forwards, I can see myself fitting in well.
“I'm ready for the level of competiton. It'll be fun to take that leap. It's not going to be easy, and there will be a lot of hard work that goes into it, but I'm excited to push myself to get better.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- State Supreme Court Justice McCaffery suspended in email porn scandal
- Police arrest 14-year-old in connection to bomb threats phoned in to South Hills schools
- Harrison woman dead in 3-car crash in Natrona Heights
- Bomb threat prompts search at Norwin High School
- Ferrante defense says arrest of prosecutor’s boyfriend could affect case
- Mars Area superintendent resigns after short tenure
- Parkway West ramps to be closed at Carnegie
- Truck wreck snarls traffic in Beaver County
- Penguins send down pair, Bortuzzo practices
- Richland man sues over injuries suffered as bystander to police chase
- Steelers looking for Spence to step up game at inside linebacker