Chelsea Klein is field hockey star at Centre College
[by Holly Hinson, Special to Community]
Since the first time she put on her jersey, Chelsea Klein has had a passion for field hockey. The daughter of Richard and Beth Klein of Louisville, the 21-year old has been a star forward at Centre College since arriving there in 2010. She began playing the sport in sixth grade at Kentucky Country Day, where her brother Casey, 18, will graduate this spring.
The field hockey forward recently helped spur her Centre team to a Sweet Sixteen appearance – only the second in the program’s history. The team lost in the tournament in a tightly contested match.
“We lost to a penalty stroke,” said Chelsea, “but it was a phenomenal game and an amazing experience. Just the fact that we made it to the tournament was a victory.”
Chelsea, who was a gymnast for 10 years as a young girl, said team sports like field hockey give her opportunity to interact with many different girls and to accomplish things together. “This year, we had a young team with 13 freshmen, so it was interesting to learn how to mesh everyone’s talents together in the best way,” she said. “What we learned about the experience was that we can do whatever we put our minds to. Our team said we wanted to make it to the tournament, and we did just that,” she said.
After the Sweet 16 tournament, Chelsea was invited to wear her jersey one final time as one of the competitors in the senior all-star game for Division 3 in Virginia Beach, playing with some of the same girls she faced in the tournament.
Honored to be selected as a Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association First Team All-American, Chelsea said she will miss competitive field hockey, but plans to connect with some recreational summer leagues when she returns to Louisville next year after graduation.
Chelsea Klein is a confident and accomplished young woman who has always been proud of her Jewish faith. She attended The Temple Religious School and celebrated her bat mitzvah there, but it took a later experience for her to truly connect with her heritage in a deep way. The Centre College senior had the opportunity to study abroad in Strasbourg, France, in the spring of 2013; and while in Europe, she visited the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp.
“One of my grandparent’s closest friends is a Holocaust survivor, and to see all she’d gone through was a really emotional experience for me,” said Chelsea. “I had heard her story before, but to be there where it all happened was when it really resonated for me. Because of that visit I felt more connected. In fact, I wrote a paper on it for college. It gave me a real sense of pride, and brought everything into perspective,” she said.
Chelsea, who studied biology and French at Centre, said she would love to travel more after college and plans to visit Israel one day with her family. But for now her post-graduation plans are focused on veterinary school – not surprising for a young woman whose family has owned and bred thoroughbred horses.
“I remember always going to Lexington horse farms with my dad,” she said, “and my grandparents lived on a farm. That passion for animals is in my blood. That’s what always makes me happy. In fact, one of the first pictures of me when I was one or two years old was on a horse. I guess it was destined to be,” smiled Chelsea.