In 2021, Neuqua Valley girls soccer pulled off a big upset against Oswego East in the regional final. That surprising victory gave hope to the program despite enduring a losing season. The Wildcats look to build on that victory this season and are fronted by senior Brooke Miller who led the team with 10 goals and eight assists last year. Find out more in this Player Profile, presented by LifeStance Health.
Brooke Miller: “I think building off of last year, we’re just looking to trust each other more, build off of each other and what each other’s strengths are. And I think one of the biggest things that can beat other teams regardless of skill level is just being a family, trusting each other, and having that chemistry. So I think off of last year, we’re just going to try and work off of each other more and then use that to make these teams not know what’s coming at them.”
On top of playing with the Wildcats, Miller also plays club soccer in the fall for the Team Chicago Soccer Club, which is the elite program for the Wheatland Athletics Association. For Neuqua Valley, she was named All-DVC and All-State by the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association last season. She has also been an All-Area selection in back to back seasons, first as a defender in 2019 and a midfielder in 2021. While she’s naturally a defender, wherever her team puts her on the field, Miller is willing to do her part.
Miller: “I do like the attack. Maybe I prefer more of like a six or a defensive-mid type of role just because I like being a natural defender, but I also love to get involved on offense. I love also doing what the team needs and what they need is offense right now. So I think it’s fun to score goals and I like to score goals when I do. I just like to be a team player.”
She specifically plays as an attacking midfielder for the Wildcats. Head coach Joe Moreau understands she’s playing out of position, but he’s confident in her skillset.
Joe Moreau: “She’s a natural center back not an attacking mid and for the team she has to be playing that position for us. She does what we ask of her and does it very well.”
Moreau has coached so many talented players at Neuqua Valley. Girls like Ryan Gareis who played Division I soccer at South Carolina and now plays professionally for the Houston Dash. As well as the recently retired Chicago Red Stars standout Zoey Goralski. Moreau believes Miller is one of the best players he’s ever had.
Moreau: “I would put Brooke in the starting 11 of kids I’ve coached at Neuqua.”
That’s very high praise for the senior who will be playing D-1 soccer at Northwestern after her final season with Neuqua. Although, there are still several goals she has in mind before she leaves the program.
Miller: “I’m really hoping to be a good example for our team. I really hope that after I leave, Neuqua can carry on our traditions and what we stand for.”
Along with having a lasting impact on the team, she’s certainly not done collecting accolades.
Miller: “I would obviously like to get recognized. Who wouldn’t? There’s All-State, All-Honorable Mention, all that. There’s All-American. Those are high hopes, but I’m looking to shoot for the stars so kind of whatever I can get recognized for, I’m hoping to go there cause it’s my last season so why not go all out.”
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Josiah Schueneman.