Rachel Werley has always been one to set goals for herself.
Whether it would be goals in the classroom, or goals on the field hockey field, the Lehighton senior always strived to complete every one she set for herself.
This year Werley will accomplish two more goals that she has aimed for over the last four years. She will graduate from Lehighton High School and will become a field hockey player at Lehigh University.
Yesterday afternoon, the four-year varsity Indian field hockey letter winner signed a Letter of Intent to play Division I field hockey for Lehigh University, in addition to furthering her education.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity," Werley said. "My mom (Kim) and I were talking about it last night that I have a lot of goals for myself with field hockey and my education. With Lehigh, I can do a lot more with that."
While there was a little family persuasion in Werley's college decision process her brother Eric recently graduated from Lehigh with his master's degree Werley knew right away that becoming a Mountain Hawk was the best choice.
She considered American University (in Washington D.C.) and Longwood University (in Virginia), but a visit to Bethlehem changed everything.
"I noticed I was comparing everything else to Lehigh," said Werley.
Werley, who will major in either math or engineering at Lehigh, will be using her field hockey skills from Lehighton to try and help a Mountain Hawk team, who finished 6-13 overall and 3-2 in the Patriot League this past season.
"I know what it's like to be a part of a successful team," said the three-year Indian starting forward. "I'm really excited to have played all four years here at Lehighton and now I am able to have that opportunity to help make Lehigh a successful program itself."
Over her high school career, Werley was blessed to be a part of recent success with the Indians. She missed out on Mountain Valley Conference and District 11 Class 2A titles in her final season, but, she was an essential part of two MVC championship teams, two district championship teams, a state runner up in 2010 and a state champion 2009.
While she played her first three years under Shawn Hindy as a coach, Werley had to be part of the transition to play under first-year head coach Lamar Long.
Long only got one year to work with Werley as a player, but he stated he's "proud to be a part of" his first high school player to sign a Letter of Intent.
"Seeing her grow, even in one year, from the beginning of the season to up to even now in indoor, her growth as a player speaks highly of her," Long said. "I'm glad she found a place like Lehigh to commit to. I wasn't deep in the decision process, but she came to me with questions about each school.
"I think she chose Lehigh because it's relatively close and it's a pretty good school. They have a decent hockey program that she can compete highly with, so it's a right fit for her."