Woolston signs with Pac West soccer champ Point Loma
Living away from the last three years of high school wasn’t easy for Shelby Woolston of Anchorage. But the sacrifice of being removed from family and friends paid off with an offer to play college soccer.
The 17-year-old signed her letter of intent with Point Loma Nazarene, a NCAA D2 school in California and a member of the Pac West Conference.
“The women’s soccer program just recently became Division II and has already won two conference championships the past two years,” Woolston told me. “I am so excited to be a part of a program that is really thriving.
“Another big thing for me is that I have lived nine hours by plane from home for the last three years at a boarding school in Rome, Georgia, and that has made it really hard for me to go home and for my family to visit and watch me play soccer.”
Woolston played her freshman year at South before being recruited by the Darlington School, which offers college prep education and elite soccer training.
“I believe that this experience has been worth it in every aspect,” she said. “It is fun playing soccer every day with people who love it as much as I do and traveling to tournaments all around the country. I also think it has been great in preparing me for college soccer in that I am in charge of making sure I keep up with my school work, including when we are traveling.”
Woolston grew up playing club youth soccer with Cook Inlet Soccer and Crossfire Alaska.
She also grew up playing forward until her first year at Darlington when she moved to center defender. She offered to step up and fill in for an injured teammate. The move became permanent.
“After that day there was no going back,” Woolston said. “My coaches saw potential in me as a defender and really have showed me how to pick my head up and create space for myself, finding feet, making good passes; those are some of my strongest points and I think will really help me at the next level.”
Woolston picked Point Loma over a number of other schools, most of them on the East Coast.
“I was really set on being closer to home for the next four years,” she said. “Being on the West Coast at a great school, with a strong soccer program, and in a beautiful city, Point Loma seems the perfect fit.”