Glacier Peak girls soccer coach Melinda Torre describes Chloe Seelhoff as fearless player and an “all-about-business-type of kid.”
“She works the hardest,” Torre said. “She’s the kid that will stay after to practice to do extra fitness or extra work. She’ll come early. I see her running in the neighborhoods around school. She’s a perfectionist by nature, and to do that she just works really, really hard to make sure that what she does is done right. She cares about it a lot.”
Seelhoff’s junior season was a testament to that work ethic. She juggled a schedule that included school, practices and games for both her club and high school soccer teams and the duties that come with being her school’s ASB president.
Those responsibilities created a busy schedule for Seelhoff. On some days, she’d leave for club soccer practice in Redmond when school was over, head back north afterwards for a high school soccer game and then get back home with just enough time left in the night to finish her homework, take a shower and get rested up for the next day.
“I did double practices like every day,” Seelhoff said. “Although it was hard to figure out, I made the most of it and made it as fun as I possibly could.”
It was a big work load for Seelhoff, but it couldn’t slow her down — especially on the high school soccer pitch.
The Grizzlies’ junior scored 12 goals and added seven assists over nine games to lead a talented Glacier Peak squad that went 7-1-1 in the shortened fall sports season.
For her efforts, Seelhoff is The Herald’s 2021 Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“She’s a goal-getter,” Torre said. “She’s feisty on the field. She has that really competitive nature, and she brings that out in her teammates, which is great. She just has the leadership skills that can’t be taught, the ones that she just kind of holds innately because she holds herself to such a high standard.”
Seelhoff pairs those skills with the short-term memory on the field that coaches regularly try to instill in their players.
“She’s not afraid to make mistakes” Torre said. “I find that a lot of times in girls that I coach that they have this fear of failure, and her lack of that actually helps her. She’ll make a mistake and she’ll come off and be like, “Yeah, that didn’t work.’ And then we’ll talk about what she needs to fix, and she’ll go fix it. She doesn’t dwell on things for very long.
“… I really love the fact that she isn’t afraid to take chances, because that’s where her success comes from.”
Seelhoff, a University of Washington commit, also provided the Grizzlies with a versatile skill-set while splitting time between playing forward and midfield for the team.
“When something isn’t working, it makes it really easy to try and attack a team from a different way,” Torre said. “It definitely gives me the flexibility in my lineup to either take away a strength of another team or to just attack a weakness that we can see in their play.”
Seelhoff said she was just happy to help the team in anyway she could. She just wished their would have been a postseason to reward the team for its stellar play.
“I honestly think this was our year,” Seelhoff said. “We were so good and work so well together. We just had really good team chemistry this year, and Torre’s been our coach for so long and she understands each and every one of us. Next year will be good too, but I’m just bummed there was no state this year.”
Despite the disappointment of not having postseason to play for, this was still a special year for Seelhoff. She experienced the unique opportunity of playing on the high school team with her older sister, Maddie, a senior, and younger sister, Ella, a freshman.
It was the first time the trio had gotten to play together on the same team.
“It’s crazy to think about,” Chloe said. “It’s so rare for all three of us to be so close in age and get to play together. I never really pictured it happening. I’ve kind of always been like ‘what if?’”
That “what if?” became a reality when Ella made the varsity team. Chloe and Maddie, a University of Montana signee, shared the field last season.
Chloe said she and her older sister were “freaking out” and “super excited” when they heard Ella would join them on the varsity squad.
“Being on the field with them is another bond to make and another memory to have,” Chloe said. “It’s just fun. We know each other so well … and we’re super competitive at practice, which makes it even better because we’re all trying to get better and better each other.
“It’s super special.”
Torre said coaching the Seelhoffs through the experience was a reminder of why she got into coaching high school sports.
“This is why high school is cool, because you have that wide range of the ninth grade to the 12th grade,” Torre said. “In no other place would they have that opportunity until they’re playing in adult leagues.”
As the season came to an end, the realization came that all three of the Seelhoffs wouldn’t share the field together again. Chloe and Ella will be back together next season, but Maddie is set to graduate this spring.
Chloe has hopes she’ll share the field with her older sister again.
“It’s gonna be a memory I’ll remember forever,” Chloe said of this season, “and hopefully I’ll get to see (Maddie) in the NCAA Tournament one day.”