Solana Beach soccer star heads to University of Notre Dame


Hanging in Torrey Pines High School senior Ian Aschieris’ bedroom is a memento he’s kept since he was a child.

“It’s one of those Thanksgiving frames that you paint in school and write what you’re thankful for,” he said on a recent Monday evening. “Mine says, ‘I’m thankful soccer.’ It doesn’t even include the word ‘for’ — that’s how young I was and how long I knew this was a path I wanted to go down.”

Aschieris, who lives in Solana Beach, is well on his way down that path after a lifetime of honing his skills on the field. Earlier this month on February National Signing Day, Aschieris committed to play the sport for University of Notre Dame — one of the top teams in the nation.

“I talked to a good amount of schools, but Notre Dame was the one I was most serious about,” he said. “I thought about it for a long time.”

It’s been a long road to get to this point for Aschieris. He’s been a part of a variety of teams throughout North County since he first started to play competitively at just 5 years old, and he hasn’t taken a break since.

Aschieris climbed the athletic ladder until he was a freshman at Santa Fe Christian, where he was a part of the school’s varsity team, and then transferred to Torrey Pines his sophomore year to play varsity there.

However, Aschieris knew that if he wanted to pursue the sport in a major way after high school, he had to transfer to club soccer.

“It was a tough decision,” he said of why he left the Torrey Pines team and joined the ranks of San Diego Surf, which he’s still part of to this day. “I knew I needed to play academy and the transition made it a lot easier knowing this was going to help me get to the next level.” (Aschieris completes his North County soccer odyssey this coming June when his time with the Surf wraps up.)

During a friendly match in 2013, the powers that be at Notre Dame came calling. “They had seen me during a tournament and emailed me afterwards,” Aschieris recalled. “I responded, and we kept in touch throughout the year.”

Aschieris liked everything he saw at Notre Dame, from their soccer team (which won the national championships in 2013) to academics as well, considering he wanted to study business and Notre Dame has a top business school. “One of the things they made clear is that academics is very important to them as well as athletics, which I liked,” he said.

However, one wrinkle made him apprehensive at first: His entire family went to USC. “My mother was a gymnast there and my father studied there,” said Aschieris. “My brother goes there now and my grandparents even went there, as well as both of my aunts and uncles on my dad’s side. Meanwhile, my cousins attend Notre Dame — so there’s a bit of a family rivalry going on.”

Not wanting to pass up a good opportunity — and subsequent scholarship — Aschieris verbally committed to join Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish last July and thus broke ranks from the rest of his family.

Despite that, Aschieris said he couldn’t be more excited for the chance to strut his stuff with the esteemed team. He recently returned from an unofficial visit to meet with longtime Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark and get a sense of what life is like in South Bend, Ind.

“This is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid,” he said. “What more can I ask for?”