Almost a year and a half after Jordan Ginther verbally committed to the Purdue women’s soccer program, the Kaneland senior goalkeeper plans to make her official visit to the Purdue campus the weekend of Feb. 9.
“It’s weird, but I’ll go with it,” Ginther said.
Ginther has been on the West Lafayette, Ind., campus before, but will finally receive the grand tour a long time coming.
“My whole family is going to go and I get to stay with one of the [Purdue players], and we’ll be going to a basketball game, so it’ll be pretty fun,” Ginther said.
Ginther will become the first Kaneland player to move on to Division I soccer, said Scott Parillo, who coaches both the Knights’ girls and boys teams.
The Knights’ highly regarded goalkeeper has had plenty of time to conjure second thoughts about her college choice but said her resolve to become a Boilermaker has remained firm. She ended her college recruitment swiftly, making a verbal commitment to the Boilermakers September of her junior year.
Ginther said she was leaning toward Purdue leading up to an unofficial campus visit during which she watched the Boilermakers play, and she informed longtime Purdue coach Robert Klatte of her plans after the match.
The Boilermakers are trying to dig out of a mini slide the past few seasons.
“They’re a work in progress,” Ginther said. “They’re definitely working to improve the women’s soccer program. The head coach there now has been there since the beginning, and he’s really looking to improve the program.”
Ginther was a standout goalkeeper for Kaneland as a freshman and a junior, forgoing the high school season during her sophomore year to focus on club soccer. She said she plans to be back in the Knights’ net for her senior year this spring.
The Sugar Grove resident plays club soccer with the Naperville-based NSA Fireballs. One of her club teammates, midfielder Holly Gregory, is also a Boilermakers recruit.
In addition to Purdue, Ginther also visited and gave consideration to Maryland and Central Michigan.
Ginther intends to officially sign with Purdue during a ceremony at Kaneland on Feb. 6., and plans to major in kinesiology. Parillo called Ginther “a dynamite goalie and a dynamite student.”
“If she’s not the best goalie in the area, I don’t really know who is,” Parillo said. “We’ve been trying to give her some great accolades, and it just hasn’t worked out the way we wanted to as far as being an all-state goalie and stuff like that. I just don’t think some of these bigger schools realize the talent that she is.”
Parillo said Ginther’s senior season will be spent anchoring a young but “really talented” Kaneland team this spring.
“We may face some growing pains early on but I think we should be very competitive,” Parillo said. “Still searching for that first regional championship. Hopefully we can get that this year – that’d be wonderful, a great way for the seniors to cap their [careers] and a great way for Jordan to cap her high school career.”
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.