Chelsea Stewart

Chelsea Stewart, who grew up in Colorado, was near the top of the list among Vanderbilt’s recruiting class for the fall of 2009. Her career in Nashville lasted 18 games.

She will graduate from UCLA with a degree in economics and with a NCAA Division I championship memory.

Stewart was a senior defender for the national champion UCLA Bruins, playing in all 26 games with seven starts. Her 2,194 minutes on the field was second only to GK Katelyn Rowland.

As a freshman, Stewart played in 18 games, starting all of them. She[show_disconnected][show_to accesslevel=’Subscriber’] played well enough to be named to the SEC All-Freshman team. Two of her three goals won games that year.

But her collegiate season conflicted with commitments with Canada’s National team duties. She sat out her sophomore season at Vanderbilt, taking an NCAA redshirt year.

Holding dual citizenship with the U.S. and with Canada, she had represented Canada at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Chile before enrolling at Vanderbilt. She was the Canadian U-20 Player of the Year in 2009.

She was added to Canada’s full nationl team in the summer of 2008 and taveled with the team to the Beijing Olympic Games.

She also helped Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and was on the team at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. She now has 44 international caps.

Finding a balance between the demands of national team responsibilities and collegiate soccer was always a challenge.

The move to California brought her closer to home. In three seasons with the Bruins, Stewart played in 66 games, while starting 41 of those.

Stewart, 23, recently made news when she was allocated by the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to play for the Boston Breaker in 2014. She was one of four Canadian WNT players newly allocated to the league.

The Canadian Soccer Federation pays the salaries for its allocated players in the NWSL. Seven former Bruins were in the NWSL this past season.

One player with Tennessee connections who won’t return to Boston and to the NWSL this season is UT Lady Vols alum Rhian Wikinson, who was not included on Canada’s allocation list, and is likely to return to a Scandanavian club. She has previously played several seasons in Norway.

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