Senior Nolan Cosgrove scores a Division I spot as a goalie


Kelly Bowen

Leaping to save a ball, senior Nolan Cosgrove defends the goal against an opposing shot from Parkway Central. After deciding to attend University of Tulsa, Cosgrove is looking forward to the competitive nature of college soccer. “Playing soccer in high school is just trying to play at the highest level that you can while you’re here and trying to put in as much work as you can while you’re here, so that way you can be prepared whenever you do go into that college environment,” Nolan said.

After three years of creating a name for himself in high school, senior Nolan Cosgrove has begun preparing for his future at the University of Tulsa.

Since the age of five, Nolan has dreamed of playing professionally. Through years of training, he credits his supportive coaches and family for helping him reach the next level.

“One of the biggest reasons why I’ve been as successful as I am is because I’ve had a phenomenal support system. I have the entire high school coaching staff, Skordos, Wayland, Piccini, Lovercheck, Herpel and my goalie trainer Brian who have all been a huge influence on me,” Nolan said. “My parents have also been crucial to my accomplishments. A lot of people told me it was hard to become a D1 athlete, but my parents were like, ‘hey, let’s do this,’ and we dove all in.”

Sophomore year, Nolan played on varsity, and when his junior year rolled around he became the starting goalkeeper.  

“I appreciate [Nolan] and his work ethic, and he takes the time to go train on his own,” head coach Mike Skordos said. “He also comes here and wants more at a practice and demands from the players to push him to work harder. He is easy-going, gets along with everyone and has been a captain for two years now. He has done a great job in between the pipes.”

At first, Nolan struggled with his grades, but when he decided he wanted to be a collegiate athlete, he began to work harder.

“Academics are a really important aspect of recruitment. Having good grades while being an athlete is valuable because a lot of the colleges at high levels require good grades,” Nolan said. “I was not doing great academically early on in high school because I didn’t know where I wanted to go. When I realized I wanted to play sports in college, I put my head down and began to work.”

I am pretty fearless. You can’t really have any fears; if you have fears, you will just go down hill.”

— senior Nolan Cosgrove

College recruits began attending Nolan’s games his sophomore and junior year.

“I wouldn’t know until after when my parents and teammates would tell me they were there. I block most things out during the game, and the pressure is kind of universal no matter if it’s practice or games, but I was never nervous,” Nolan said.

The coach-player bond between Nolan and Skordos has allowed Nolan to grow as a leader for the team.

“I feel there is a good level of trust where [Nolan] is going to execute what we want in goal, and he also respects the coaching staff and the decisions were making. It is very nice how there isn’t a whole lot of questions or doubt on how we are going to approach a game,” Skordos said. “He has really matured, and grown into a great athlete and I am really excited to see him play at the Division 1 level for the next four years.”

During the summer of junior year, Nolan got a call from Tulsa’s head coach, Tom McIntosh.

“He let me know that I got a scholarship and that I would be on the team. It was a really big weight lifted off my shoulders and my parents’ shoulders because we didn’t know if it would workout,” Nolan said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay for it all. When I found out I got the scholarship it felt as if this was just the beginning. I realized I now have four years of intense college soccer and then possibly many years after that if I end up going pro.”

In the fall of 2019, he will be playing for St. Louis Football Club and attending a local community college his freshman year so that he can be gray shirted. Grey shirting is the process of an incoming college freshman who postpones their enrollment in classes until the second semester of freshman year. The spring season of 2020 Nolan will begin playing with Tulsa’s soccer team and attending the university.

“When training with Tulsa begins, I expect it to be very quick and intense, but I am pretty fearless. You can’t really have any fears; if you have fears, you will just go down hill,” Nolan said.

Sophomore Matt Cosgrove has learned a lot from his brother’s successes throughout the years.

“This will be really good for him because he works so hard, and it’s a good way to get into college. I’m going to miss him, and it will be different without him around all the time,” Matt said. “I’ve realized that opportunities like this don’t come easily and you have to work hard for them.”

His 13 year soccer journey will continue on throughout his college years, and Nolan has treasured each step throughout his process.

“It goes really fast–high school soccer, club soccer–this whole process goes really, really, really fast,”  Nolan said. “So cherish it no matter what while you can.”