When P.K. Yonge girls soccer senior Chloe Westbrooks began her college search, she started looking for schools near her family in Chicago.
She remembered finding Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and being very interested in the school, which is located just over 11 miles from Chicago.
Last week, Westbrooks made it official when she signed with the Division III school.
“I talked with the head coach, Carlos Carrillo, and assistant coach, Sara Stepanovich, and I loved their passion for the soccer team and their praise for the school,” Westbrooks said. “I visited last year, and I really loved the environment that Dominican has. The women’s soccer team and coaching staff were incredibly welcoming, and the campus was really unique. I’m very excited to join them in the fall.”
Westbrooks started playing soccer for a rec league around 2017 prior to joining her first club team at Gainesville Soccer Alliance (GSA). But it wasn’t until she was in high school that she decided to pursue it at the next level.
“When I first began, I loved the game and was focused on learning everything I could from my coaches,” Westbrooks said. “As I progressed with my club team and then at P.K. Yonge, I realized I didn’t want to stop after high school. My coaches and teammates created such an incredible environment, which excites me to continue my soccer career. I am incredibly excited to play with the DU Stars.”
P.K. Yonge head coach Rebecca Schackow used many adjectives to describe her co-captain.
“Chloe is a feisty, hardworking, strong, determined athlete,” Schackow said. “She is highly competitive, strategic and smart on the field.”
Westbrooks, who joined the P.K. Yonge soccer program her sophomore year, was a part of back-to-back regional final appearances for the Lady Blue Wave, who were one half away from their first state semifinal appearance in school history this past February before falling in double overtime to Bolles (Jacksonville).
“Chloe was a gift to our team,” Schackow said. “We wish we had more years with her on our team. She brings out a competitive spirit in her teammates. She knows how to get hyped and pumped up before every game so that we started each game with new found courage, confidence, and excitement. She is a really neat person and is loved by all of her teammates. She is funny, she is kind, she will be greatly missed.”
This past season, Westbrooks was second on the Blue Wave with 11 goals and 28 total points, earning her a spot on the Mainstreet Daily News All Area team.
“Playing at P.K. Yonge has been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever participated in,” Westbrooks said. “I’ve felt so supported and loved by everyone on the team and the coaches, trainers, and staff at P.K Yonge. I was so lucky to be on such a hard-working team, and I am very proud of our appearances in the regional final tournament.”
Westbrooks said the team “worked very hard each season to improve, and you could feel the commitment and passion throughout the team.”
“I’ve learned so much about perseverance and competitiveness, and I was fortunate to be around others who love the game as much as I do,” she said. “Honestly, P.K. Yonge changed my life, and I will always be so thankful to my coaches and teammates.”
Those attributes will be key to her success as she moves on to the next chapter in her life.
“Chloe has the potential to fit in well at the collegiate level because of her great work ethic, her courage, and her determination,” Shackow said. “Dominican University does not realize what a special athlete they have recruited. I think she will work hard and continue to improve as a player. I also think she will bring out the best in those around her. I think she will instantly contribute to their program if given the chance. We are so excited for her and this great opportunity she has to play soccer at the next level.”