The Shippensburg University women’s soccer team picked up two huge victories against Seton Hill University and Mercyhurst University earlier in October.
The star in those games was senior Ashley Weaver, and she was recognized for her efforts with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) women’s soccer Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 10, 2016. She is the first from the women's soccer team to win the award in seven years.
Over the two games, Weaver scored three goals to help SU eventually earn a postseason birth.
“It’s quite a thrill to be recognized for the hard work I’ve put into my level of play,” Weaver said. “But more importantly, I’m glad that I was able to help the team in two crucial wins as we fight to earn a spot in the PSAC playoffs.”
The goals Weaver scored could not have come at better times. Her first goal against Seton Hill tied the game at one. Then, Weaver found the back of the net in the 80th minute for a game-winning goal, fighting off numerous defenders to beat the Griffin’s goalkeeper.
“It was probably the hardest I have ever had to work for a goal,” Weaver said. “My arm was actually being held, and pulled to the ground to the point that if I didn’t chip the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, it was likely to result in a penalty kick, instead. Either way, the absolute thrill of scoring a goal and winning a game never grows old.”
On the season, Weaver has scored six goals. That is tied for the team lead with Paige Harris. Her six goals is a new career-high for Weaver. Weaver said that she has given soccer all that she has, and it has allowed her to be successful this season.
“I have always put my heart into the game since I was a kid,” Weaver said. “As a senior in my final season at SU, I’m not sure what the future holds with my soccer career, so I try to leave it all on the field and ensure that each time I walk off the field, I’m not feeling anything less than happy with how I performed.”
Weaver also mentioned she could not be successful without her teammates.
“It really comes down to the contagious positive attitudes, and determination this team has maintained, since we stepped on the field in August for preseason that has made a large contribution to my success,” Weaver said.
The team — now 10–7 overall, and 8–7 in the PSAC — will head to Indiana, Pennsylvania, for a matchup with Indiana University of Pennsylvania. If the Raiders win, they earn a PSAC playoff berth. If they lose, they are going to need some help to earn a spot in the tournament.
“I have so much faith in this team,” Weaver said. “I truly believe our positive attitudes, relentless efforts, and taking our last few games one-by-one will allow us to qualify for PSACs.”
Weaver made a trip to the NCAA tournament as a freshman, which is an experience she hopes to relive again.
“Making PSACs and the NCAA tournament was definitely an electrifying experience, to say the least,” Weaver said. “I know for a fact that the other five seniors, coach Fulton, and coach Smith would love to experience that feeling again, and be able to share it with the underclassmen is simply an icing on the cake.”
The team will travel to Indiana University of Pennsylvania this Saturday. The game is set to begin at 1:30 p.m.