Senior Panther soccer star Sophia Weigt celebrated the 100th goal of her high school career last Thursday at home in an impressive overall win against Maconaquah (12-0).
Since the age of 5, Weigt has been devoting her life to soccer, first joining a team at both the YMCA and Chapel Hill Preschool. When she was older, she played at Kokomo Soccer Club and Indiana Fire Juniors at Grand Park in Westfield. When Coach Abby Workman first saw her play in middle school, she knew Weigt meant business.
“I just remember when she came in as a freshman,” Workman said. “I watched her as a freshman, and I knew from her time in middle school that she would be a goal scorer for us. I told her at the end of her freshman year, she had I think 17 goals, and I told her, ‘You know, you’re on track to get the 100-goal mark.’ It’s only happened one other time in school history, and the school record is 109.
“I’m proud to see her do that (score 100 goals) because I knew as a freshman she would be that special generational player that would come in and cement herself in the school record books.”
From her freshman year to now, Weigt said the biggest difference in herself has been her confidence level. She credited Workman for always believing in her and helping her realize her potential. Additionally, Weigt credited her time with other coaches and teammates in travel leagues for improving her skills, claiming “playing against some of Indiana’s best players on a regular basis forces you to work hard, and playing for coaches that care about your personal development makes a difference.”
Throughout her high school career, Weigt’s favorite memory was beating Marion in sectionals for the first time. She remembered how, as a team, the Panthers came together, set a goal, and achieved it. She is hopeful the team will accomplish a regional championship this season, and any more post-season wins would be the cherry on top, she said.
“We have a strong group of women, and I believe we have a good chance to accomplish some things that have never happened previously at Western,” Weigt said.
As a forward and captain for the Panthers, Weigt tries to lead the team by example, not only by how she speaks to her teammates but also in her actions on and off the field as a role model for younger athletes to look up to.
“She’s a really good leader and a very good mentor for the kids on the team,” Workman said. “Like she’ll stop and help them (other teammates) if they’re not following what we’re trying to do, or she’ll point out things that they can improve upon. And she’ll do it in a way that it’s more encouraging than critical. I appreciate having that on my team as far as leadership; it really helps the younger kids feel welcomed.”
The love and commitment to soccer seem to run deep in the Weigt family. For one season, Weigt has been able to enjoy playing with her freshman sister, Lucy Weigt, on the team. Additionally, Sophia’s brother, sophomore Ray Weigt, plays for Western’s boys’ team, as well as Indiana Fire Juniors.
In addition to soccer, Weigt volunteers at a local hospital and participates in S.A.D.D. Club, National Honor Society, and Howard County Youth Council. Making sure to have a balance between athletics and school, Weigt does not play any other sports and found soccer to be the best fit for her.
“I love that when I play soccer nothing else matters. For a couple hours I can forget about my physics assignment or biology test and just enjoy playing with my teammates,” Weigt said.
Currently, the Panthers are 8-1-1, with Weigt leading the pack in scoring, but Weigt also makes sure her teammates get opportunities to score as well by distributing the ball and making selfless passes. Next, Western will battle the Titans at Taylor this Saturday at 11 a.m.
Weigt is undecided on where to attend college next fall but has plans to major in biology, with the ultimate goal of attending medical school and becoming a surgeon. As much as she enjoys playing soccer, she will not be continuing her athletic career, instead focusing on her education.