PHILADELPHIA --Just days after walking across the stage at graduation, Duke Lacroix will walk onto the pitch as a professional soccer player after signing a contract with the Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League (NASL) based out of Indianapolis.
Lacroix, who recently earned the Class of 1915 Award as Penn's most outstanding male senior student-athlete, graduated as a four-time All-Ivy selection -- just the third Penn player in program history to do so. His 65 career points are the third-most in program history. This past fall, he led the Ivy League with six assists and added seven goals.
In the Eleven's announcement, Lacroix was excited about beginning his professional career.
“As the first stop after my college career Indy Eleven was a no-brainer for me, as it gives me the chance to join like-minded individuals who want to pursue greater and better things,” said Lacroix, who postponed the start of his professional soccer career in recent months in order to finish his studies at Penn, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in sociology last week.
“I had the opportunity to visit with Indy Eleven over my spring break to meet the players and the coaching staff, and I think this a great program. I feel like there is really a sense of direction from the coaches and the players all the way through to the front office as well,” continued Lacroix. “The energy and environment of the team is really palpable, and I’m looking forward to finding my role and making an impact across the remainder of the season.”
Also in the team's statement, Lacroix's first professional coach expressed admiration for the offensive skills Lacroix can bring to the table.
"Duke is a player with great touch and tremendous pace who can stretch defenses and give us a different look in front of goal," said Indy Eleven head coach and director of team operations Juergen Sommer. "He showed really well during his time with the team in preseason, and we can't wait to see what he can provide for us across the remainder of the 2015 season."
The Eleven are in action on May 23 against Ottawa Fury FC in Canada, a match which will be streamed on ESPN3