In the 2010 girls soccer state semifinals against Madeira, Slattery’s opening penalty kick hit the crossbar. Her hands hit her face in disbelief and her elbows collapsed to her knees. That missed penalty kick proved to be the difference in a battle of two undefeated teams. Indian Hill went home, and Madeira won the Division II state title four days later.
“After that moment, though, I realized how close I was to everyone on the team,” Slattery said. “They literally picked me up off the ground. Those are the moments you realize how much love is around you and you go forward.”
Slattery, a 2013 Indian Hill graduate, was one of two inductees to the Indian Hill Hall of Fame in a ceremony Friday night. She’s now the youngest of the 32-member Hall of Fame.
“I love this town. I love this high school. I wasn’t expecting to get the call this year. It was not on my radar at all,” Slattery said, laughing. “Playing high school soccer for Indian Hill was some of the best times I ever had.”
Slattery, who now lives in Manhattan, New York, was a two-time All-American at Indian Hill, who also played basketball and was a diver for the Braves. In soccer, she helped lead Indian Hill to four consecutive district titles and a pair of trips to the state Final Four. Indian Hill’s overall record during Slattery’s tenure was 66-12-8.
She was named the Cincinnati Hills League Player of the Year in 2012 and went on to win a pair of Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships at the University of Florida.
“What separates Liz (Slattery) is her passion. She would sacrifice anything. You name it, she gave it up because of how much she loved the game and wanted to be the very best in the game,” Indian Hill girls soccer coach and two-time state-champion Amy Dunlap said. “Liz never expected you to be as good as her, but she wanted you to match her intensity. The team was somewhat afraid of her, but at the same time, they wanted to be in her good graces. That’s why we went on to have those championships that we had.”
Four-time state-champion Dave Lawson, an Indian Hill assistant coach added: “In the pursuit of perfect, you might not find it, but you will find excellence. She pursued it and she definitely found excellence. Nobody outworked her. She loved playing at Indian Hill and we certainly loved having her.”
Slattery said she remembers how committed the Indian Hill program was to winning every fall.
“A lot of girls I played club with, they never played high school soccer because it was a joke to them. At Indian Hill, it was our world,” Slattery said. “The team and the culture they built for all of us, it’s really hard to get that. In high school, it’s like, do people care or not? I think every single person, all four years, wanted to do everything they could to win.”
"The Indian Hill family has meant a lot."
Bryan Walker, a 1999 Indian Hill graduate, still peeks at the banner whenever he enters the Indian Hill gymnasium.
The banner honors the 1998 Indian Hill basketball team, which was the Division III state runner-up and still remains the only Braves boys basketball team to reach the state Final Four.
Walker, inducted to the Indian Hill Hall of Fame Friday, was one of five Braves to score in double figures in Indian Hill’s 87-71 win over Massillon Tuslaw in the state semifinals, finishing with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double. He turned in 20 points and eight boards in the state championship game loss to Sparta Highland.
“Just peaking at the right time and coming together as friends and as a team,” Walker said of the 1998 club. “Those are things that mean a lot and just the friends I made with all of those teams. The Indian Hill family has meant a lot.”
Walker’s favorite win during his time at Indian Hill was in the regional final that season, when the Braves knocked off an undefeated Dayton Christian squad in a high-scoring affair.
“We probably only beat them one out of 10 times, but that was our night,” he said. “That was definitely my favorite.”
Walker played football, basketball and baseball at Indian Hill. He was All-Ohio in football and played nine positions for the baseball team.
“To me, this is a true Hall-of-Famer. He (Walker) played multiple sports and contributed to their school,” Walker’s high school football coach Kevin Siple said. “While Bryan was here, he played football, then basketball and baseball and played all three well. For a place like Indian Hill, if those kids didn’t play multiple sports, the athletic program wouldn’t survive. I always encouraged kids to play as many sports as they could.”
In addition to the state final run on the hardwood, Walker starred on the first Indian Hill football team to reach the postseason (1996) and recorded six postseason wins as a pitcher for the baseball team. He holds Top-10 individual records in all three sports.
“He’s just a winner,” Siple said.
Walker went on to play football at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he was a first-team all-conference selection and graduated with single-game records for receiving yards (189) and touchdowns (3). He later coached at Centre, Wooster College and was an offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator at Indian Hill, where his offenses averaged over 40 points per game.
“I liked him so much that I hired him to my staff and he coached with us. Since then, we’ve been great friends,” Siple said. “It gets a little emotional when you have players that you connect with like that.”
Walker teaches at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Kentucky and is the school’s head football coach. Over the last five seasons, he’s led the Eagles to a 37-20 overall record, four consecutive winning seasons and a trip to the KHSAA Class 1A Final Four in 2021.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: 'I love this high school.' Indian Hill inducts 2 new members to HOF