Dec. 30, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Canadian Soccer Association announced that Vanderbilt's Chelsea Stewart has been named Canadian U-20 Player of the Year for the 2009 soccer season.
Stewart, who completed her freshman season at Vanderbilt last month, was honored in a vote shared by national-team coaches (50%) and Canadian coaches who have taken the Canadian Soccer Association's national course at the B and A levels (50%).
"It was definitely out of the blue," said Stewart when asked about her thoughts on receiving the award. "Our coach let me know about it when we were at camp. I am thrilled to be named the Canadian U-20 Player of the Year and it was nice to be around the U-20 team when we found out. I think this kind of give us some extra motivation to work hard at our last training camp before we head off to the World Cup Qualifier."
Stewart split her 2009 international season between Canada's national and U-20 teams. She made six appearances at the national level under new head coach Carolina Morace, making her debut on 5 March 2009 at the Cyprus Women's Cup. At the women's U-20 level, she made four appearances as Canada began preparations for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010. She served as a team captain at the U-20 level.
She played as a defender/midfielder in her club season with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC before playing at Vanderbilt this fall. She played in 10 W-League games for the Whitecaps and 18 games for the Commodores, scoring three goals with an assist en route to Southeastern Conference All-Freshman honors.
"Chelsea Stewart is a tremendously gifted player with an amazingly high work rate," head coach Ronnie Woodard said. "She has been a valuable asset to not only our program but is a rising star on the Canadian National Team. I am excited that she received this honor."
The Canadian U-20 team completed a preparatory camp from Dec. 11-20 in Boca Raton, Fla. The team is working towards the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010, which runs 13 July to 1 August.
Canada's qualification route for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010 is fast approaching. The eight-team confederation qualification - the 2010 CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship - runs 18-31 January in Guatemala. Canada plays Costa Rica on 20 January, Cuba on 22 January and host Guatemala on 24 January.