Close distance to home, soccer and the preferred area of study.
Those were the three biggest things on Chloe Shaw’s checklist when it came to picking a college to attend and she found all three in Houghton College. That’s where Shaw will spend the next four years furthering her academic and athletic careers, competing on the soccer field for the Highlanders.
“Everything kind of came together and it was the right fit,” Shaw said. “I just really liked the campus and I liked what they had to offer. It just had everything I wanted in a school.”
The decision by Shaw, a four-year letter winner at Bradford, closes the chapter on what was a storied high school career with the Lady Owls.
She anchored Bradford’s midfield during three straight District 9 Championship runs, finished top four in minutes played for her sophomore, junior and senior seasons and capped her career off as a team captain with 10 goals, 53 assists and 73 total points.
Shaw also won the team’s Unsung Player Award in 2018 and 2019 and was a three-time selection to the Corporate Cup PA Team for the PA/NY Corporate Cup. She was also recruited by Thiel, Geneva and Huntington (Ind.).
Winning three straight district titles, especially the third one, as well as helping the team finish the regular season undefeated this past year are among Shaw’s favorite memories from playing in the black and red.
“Winning this year was the biggest win for us I think because we actually got to play for a championship,” Shaw said. “Beating DuBois three years in a row, that was pretty great because they’re a rival for us.”
Shaw’s journey to Houghton began when the new travel team she played on last winter had mutual connections to the program’s head coach Nikki Elsaesser.
According to her bio, Elsaesser has been coaching the program since May 2019 and was previously at Messiah College. There, she was a four-year starter for the Falcons and served as an assistant coach with the program for the 2018 season, a year that saw the team finish with a 19-1-2 and advance to the third round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
During her playing career, she was a three-time NCAA Division III All-America selection and the NSCAA Player of the Year in 2015.
“I think it’s a good program, it’s strong,” Shaw said. “She knows what she’s talking about. I’ve met her a few times and I worked with her a couple times with my other indoor team.”
With Shaw preparing to play soccer at the next level, that means she won’t be coached by her father, Bradford head coach Warren Shaw.
Warren Shaw and his wife, Dianna, helped and provided Chloe with some advice when it came to picking a school.
“I think that she put a lot of thought into it. She’s wanted to do this and it was only if the right opportunity was going to present itself,” Warren Shaw said. “I know Coach Nikki up there has coached her a few times and does a lot of good things…I know she’s someone who’s going to take care of her, so that’s important.”
But what Warren saw most important was academics and luckily Houghton had what Chloe wanted to major in, which is secondary English education.
“The biggest thing is just making sure she knows academics are first and that’s the first step in the process,” Warren Shaw said. “If the athletic piece happens to marry up with it, then awesome.”
On the soccer field, Warren said Elsaesser wants to utilize Chloe in the midfield and believes her best soccer is yet to come.
“She likes the way that she turns the ball, likes the way that she can orient defensively or offensively, so those are things that are going to help her out,” Warren Shaw said.
He also added with a grin: “I can’t wait to go watch her. I love watching her play and I’ll still be coaching here so I still get to coach, just don’t get to yell at her I guess.”
In the meantime, Chloe will be completing workouts provided by the program and training with the U-19 N.Y. West Olympic Developmental Program (team). She also plays for New York’s Northwest Wave Travel Club.
Chloe will also join several of her Wave teammates in the Empire 8 Conference such as Big 30 players Ada Sylvester (St. John Fisher) and Victoria Stuck (Keuka College).
Overall, Chloe is looking forward to the opportunity to attend college and continue to play soccer, a sport that she of course holds in high regard.
“I love to play and that’s a big factor in why I’m deciding to go there,” Chloe Shaw said. “So I’m really excited for that.”