Over the past four years, she’s dazzled as a key member of Perkiomen Valley’s powerful offense.
Now she’s taking the next step as Laura Shelton, daughter of Greg and Sandy Shelton, recently signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her field hockey career at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League member, in the fall.
“When I visited UPenn, I fell in love with the school, the coaches and the team,” said Shelton, who plans to study business. “The campus is really beautiful. What put it over the edge for me was the city atmosphere.”
Shelton had plenty of options as she considered Ohio State, Saint Joseph’s, Princeton and Villanova. However, it was the chance to compete in the Ivy League at UPenn that ultimately put her over the edge.
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to go to an Ivy League school. That’s motivated me to work so hard both in class and in field hockey,” she said.
Shelton, a member of the National Honor Society and a recipient of the Academic Excellence Award, has received Highest Honors all throughout her time with Perkiomen Valley. With a 4.28 GPA at the end of her junior year, academics have always been a main focal point for her.
“Grades have always come first,” she said. “I love playing (field hockey), but to me, the most important thing has been to find a school with great academics. I was looking for the school that would give me the best opportunities after graduation.”
Last season, the Quakers finished 13-3 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League before falling to Princeton, 2-1, in overtime of the championship game.
Throughout her five years at UPenn, head coach Colleen Fink boasts a 37-48 overall record. The team’s last Ivy League championship came in the 2004 season.
“I was able to get to see a few of their games, and I really liked what I saw,” said Shelton. “After I visited, Coach Fink and I started emailing and communicating more. I knew it was where I belonged.”
Coming into a whole new team and a whole new atmosphere, she’s up for the challenge that playing Division I presents.
“I think it will take some time for me to settle in and find my role with the team,” she said. “They have a ton of great players. I’m hoping I can get on the field this year, but I think I’ll spend a lot of time learning from the older members of the team early on.”
This past season as a senior captain at Perkiomen Valley, Shelton compiled a PAC-leading 19 assists while adding eight goals of her own as the Vikings earned their second straight trip to the conference championship. In that time, she was also given the Coaches Award.
For her career, Shelton totaled 21 goals and 44 assists while being named to the Mercury Area’s Second Team as a junior and receiving Honorable Mention honors in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.
She was named the team’s Most Valuable Player both her sophomore and junior seasons.
Through all of her personal achievement on the field, her top moment came as a junior when she was a member of PV’s undefeated PAC-10 championship team.
“Winning PAC-10’s junior year was amazing,” she said. “We worked so hard and had such a good team all-around. That was a win that I know a lot of us will never forget.”
As she gears up for her collegiate career, Shelton will look to make more unforgettable memories with UPenn starting in the fall.
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