Among the Region’s top goalkeepers, Bishop Noll senior Danny Salazar might be the most polished. The Warriors senior saved 89 percent of shots on goal this season in leading Bishop Noll to the Class 2A boys soccer state championship, and his seven saves in the title game helped his team hold off Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter 1-0.
Although Salazar stands on the short side for goalkeepers at 5-foot-9, he’s one of the smartest and most technically sound players around. His distribution helped set up Bishop Noll’s attack, and he consistently made good decisions when pursuing the ball.
Salazar, who was named to The Times' 2017 All-Area Team, has made two short trips to Spain in his high school career for soccer camps with Catalonian clubs Barcelona and Espanyol.
His steady play has earned him looks from Division I schools, and he said he’s “in talks” with Valparaiso, Purdue Fort Wayne, Division III Wabash College and others. I caught up with Salazar moments after Bishop Noll’s championship victory, its first in program history.
Q: Did you ever think that you would get to this point?
A: Since June. This is my senior year. I have to leave with a bang. I have to.
Q: What’s the coolest part of being a state champ?
A: My family. They’re my family. Just celebrating with them. That’s the best part about this: Bringing this back to the Region.
Q: What does this state title do for Bishop Noll’s program going forward?
A: This changes everything. Hopefully, incoming freshmen come in and see how successful this program has been since the beginning and it just stays on the right (track).
Q: I know that you went to Spain and did some training there. How did that help you?
A: My IQ, for sure. My mentality of the game. When I went over there, it just opened up the game.
Q: That’s a big trip for a high schooler to make. What was the conversation with your parents like?
A: They’ve supported me since I could kick a ball. My family is a big soccer family. They know I’m achieving a dream, so they just fully supported me.
Q: How would you sum up this season?
A: It’s all business.