With the heart of a lion, Chelsea Weir has risen up to make a name for herself.
Weir, a first-year forward for SUNY New Paltz’s Women’s Soccer team, has already cemented herself as a key player for the Lady Hawks. While the team only graduated two players from last year’s championship roster, Weir was able to break into the team’s starting 11.
Weir is currently tied with fourth-years Samantha Abravanel and Beth Bowling for the top amount of points on the season with eight. In five games this season, Weir has three goals and two assists.
Head Coach Colleen Bruley said she had high hopes for Weir when she recruited her, but she did not know she would be as good as she turned out to be.
“She has a huge presence on the field and works hard to close down every ball,” Bruley said.
Weir’s first goal as a Hawk came on Sept. 1, when the Lady Hawks beat New Jersey City University 5-0. Weir’s family had come up to watch, and she said having them there to celebrate with her was special.
“The feeling was unforgettable,” Weir said. “It was the first time they got to see me play for the school and it felt great to have them see my first goal.”
A graduate of West Islip High School on Long Island, Weir grew up playing numerous sports. While in high school, she was on the varsity soccer, basketball, softball and track teams.
In her four years at West Islip, she accumulated awards in multiple sports, including 2009-10 Suffolk County Rookie of the Year, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 Suffolk County All-League Awards and 2011-2012 Suffolk County All-League Academic Awards in basketball alone. For the 2011-2012 soccer season, she was awarded both Suffolk County All-League and All-Academic Awards.
Weir’s greatest honor came in 2012, when she was awarded West Islip High School’s Lion’s Heart Award. The award is given to the student athlete who gets the most out of their natural abilities.
“Weir has an incredible work ethic with everything she does and I see her as being one of the lead goal scorers for the next four years,” Bruley said.
Weir said one of her greatest accomplishments was when in 10th grade she had the opportunity to play on the Varsity Women’s Soccer team for the 2009-10 season. The team would go on to win the Suffolk County Finals, the Long Island Championship and make it to the New York State semifinals.
After such a successful fall season, Weir and her teammates were hit with a tragedy that molded Weir into the player she is today.
“One of my senior teammates that we called Lexi took her own life,” Weir said. “The breaking news hit me harder than anything before and I just couldn’t believe it. Lexi was an amazing soccer player and an even better person. She not only taught me to never give up, but showed me to have fun.”
Before every game, Weir said she writes Lexi’s initials, AP, and her number, seven, on her wrist in Sharpie to honor her and the impact that she has had on her.
“There was a saying that she always said and it was, ‘give everything but up,’” Weir said. “I live by this saying now and I will carry it with me forever.”