York transfer lights it up

The Wilfrid Laurier women’s soccer teams’ record is nothing short of impressive. They are ranked first in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rankings and are undefeated on the season with some big wins such as a 4-0 beat-down against York University and a 6-1 thrashing against McMaster.

Along with this impressive record, come some rather remarkable players, most with a provincial title to their name.

However, the silent threat that seems to be surfacing this year is Krista Cellucci.

The sniping striker has already amassed four goals in six games and sits tied for fifth in league scoring.

Cellucci laced up her first soccer cleats at the age of five and has been highly involved in the sport ever since.

“I was involved in under-18 teams. I was also involved at the provincial level and I knew I wanted to incorporate soccer into my university career,” said Cellucci.

During her first year, Cellucci played soccer at York. While playing in Toronto, she knew Laurier was a better fit.

“I liked Laurier from the very beginning, even for their academics. I wasn’t really achieving what I wanted to at York with the soccer program and my academics as well,” said Cellucci, a communication studies major.

“When my team came to play Laurier, [I saw] the team, the colours and the atmosphere here; how it’s so small and it’s a beautiful campus. It just motivated me. I really wanted to play here. I knew it right away when I looked at the team and when I saw who the coaches were, it made me want to come here and transfer right away,” said the third year. “It’s the best decision I ever made.”

Cellucci was ineligible to play her first year at Laurier because of her transfer, but that gave her more motivation to practise that much harder to make her own mark on her new team.

“I find that this year, I have set goals for myself. I want to stand out in the field. I want to stand out off the field as well,” said Cellucci. “[I like] just putting that extra stride in practice, pushing myself to that last cone and just pushing and preparing myself. Even before the season, I did a lot of running and I played soccer almost every day in the summer just to get ready and prepare for the season. I always put a lot of dedication into it, and I just want to perform well for my coaches and the team and for myself.”

The motivation for Cellucci comes from one source — her teammates.

“Just seeing the Laurier atmosphere with the girls and some of the older players and how they lead by example, I wanted to stand out myself, and feed off their positivity and their success. I just wanted to achieve my own personal goals,” said the emerging star. “As a striker, I have to score. I have to set up plays and make passes.”

Looking forward in her career, Cellucci hopes she can reach nationals this year but she said, “Our strategy is to take it game by game and not to think about all the way to the national final, but think about the next game first and tackle it half by half.”

The Hawks will take on Waterloo at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.