Make Way for Cecilia

Rookie striker is turning heads with her torrid start

Image by: Alina Yusufzai
With Way (left) and Matsukubo (right) around for the coming years

Queen’s newest soccer sensation Cecilia Way has one thing on her mind: winning.

The first-year striker’s red-hot start to the season has helped push the Queen’s women’s team to second in the OUA East standings with five wins, two ties, and no losses through their first seven games.

Way’s individual numbers are incredible—she currently sits third in the province with six goals scored—but in an interview with The Journal, she insisted on keeping the focus team-centric.

“Becoming a Gael was like finding an instant family.”

A Victoria, British Columbia native, Way began playing soccer at age seven. Her time spent on high-level Canadian teams and playing internationally in France, has shown Way the impact a team’s rapport can have on its performance.

She raved about the special bond between her current teammates and suggested the positivity of their locker room as the driving force behind both her individual triumphs and Queen’s
undefeated start.

“The team atmosphere is amazing, it has given us a lot of success,” Way said. She cited the lack of stigma between the starters and bench players as a big reason why the women have come together so quickly, especially considering how young the team is.

The instantaneous bonding between teammates came as no surprise to Way, since she came to Queen’s specifically for its sense of comradery. Despite having other options—many of which were closer to home—she settled on Queen’s based on its unique reputation and glowing track record of both academic and athletic success.

While acknowledging the difficulty of leaving her family behind, Way desired to branch out and play with new teammates. “I knew I wanted to leave Victoria. It’s small, and you always see the same people.”

Becoming a Gael certainly has paid early dividends for Way. Not only has she met new people, but she has made connections with her new teammates that extend beyond the pitch. The support system they provide has helped Way overcome a potential limitation: overthinking.

“I used to be bad about overthinking, but I’ve learned to just live in the now,” she said.

Way is a natural competitor who has always pushed herself to be the best, and it seems the support of her teammates provides Way the freedom needed to elevate her play even further.

“I want to win, but I won’t overthink,” Way explained. “Either success will follow, or it won’t.”

More than anything, an unwavering love for the sport of soccer is what motivates Way to persevere through tough times and to make the most of her victories.

“I play because I love the sport,” Way said without hesitation. “It’s a stress reliever, and when I’m playing I have no anxious feelings.”

This self-assurance guides Way on the pitch, and will undoubtedly be central in the team’s impending march towards the playoffs. Should recent trends continue, the playoffs may only be the beginning; this special group of women will go as far as their bond will take them.

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