Weyrauch Family Epitomizes Evolution of Girls Soccer Over a Generation

Chrissy Weyrauch of Ridge High in action during a summer scrimmage. Credits:
Laurie Weyrauch, left, and Chrissy Weyrauch. Credits:
Sami Weyrauch. Credits:

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Ridge High School's varsity girls soccer team could be poised for an impact season, and one of its best players has been able to draw upon a family of exceptional athletes to prepare her for success.

Chrissy Weyrauch, a 6-foot senior, is considered one of the best midfielders in New Jersey. She scored the only goal in Ridge's attention-getting 1-0 scrimmage victory over nationally ranked Northern Highlands last week, and she will be at the forefront of the Red Devils' drive for a Group 4 championship this season.

Last season, Weyrauch finished with nine goals and six assists to help Ridge reach the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 4 championship round, where Ridge lost in overtime to Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to having an older sister, Alex, who is sitting our her sophomore soccer season at Division 1 Holy Cross University after suffering a torn ACL in August, Chrissy's younger sister, Sami, is a sophomore who is a reserve midfielder on the Ridge varsity team.

And their mom, Laurie Pankuck-Weyrauch, was an all-state soccer player and All-Union County in basketball and softball at Gov. Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights in the mid-1980s before graduating from Susquehanna University, where her four-year basketball career earned her a place in that college's Hall of Fame.

"My mom got us involved in sports from the  beginning when we were young," Chrissy said. "Alex always pushed me to rise up to the next level and she taught me everything. We are completely different players, but if she went for a run to get in shape, it encouraged me to go for a run to follow her example."

Laurie pointed out that Chrissy has been able to hone her talent by emulating some of her older sister's skills. "Alex is equally strong with her left and right foot," Laurie said. "And now Chrissy has a good left foot, which you really need."

Their path to prominence in soccer--as well as basketball, where Chrissy averaged 11.5 points per game for Ridge as a junior last winter--was partially paved by having a mother who grew up at a time when girls' soccer was just beginning to gain more widespread acceptance in New Jersey.

In fact, Laurie was a freshman on the first varsity girls' soccer team at Gov. Livingston in 1983.

"We were like pioneers," Laurie Weyrauch said of her own high school soccer team. "The opportunities in soccer have come so far in 30 years. We taught ourselves back in those days. We didn't have anybody teaching us the game. Our parents coached us."

Laurie's late father, Robert Pankuck, helped start the youth soccer program in Berkeley Heights when Laurie was young.

"I started coaching the girls' team when they were little," said Laurie, who was also a 1,000-point scorer in basketball in high school. "But, where we had faculty teachers coaching soccer, my daughters have had some great mentors. Look how far it has come for these kids; (Ridge head coach) Katie Donahue was a four-year starter for the Boston College women's soccer team."

The Weyrauch family, like so many in Basking Ridge and throughout New Jersey, were enthralled watching Team USA win the Women's World Cup earlier this summer, and it had additional meaning locally because Ridge High School graduate Tobin Heath was on the team.

In the spring, Chrissy plays for Jersey United Soccer Club. During her junior year, she made an early decision to attend Holy Cross University, where she is looking forward to playing with her older sister again.

Chrissy has helped "pay forward" the volunteerism of both her mother and grandfather in the sport by helping to run soccer camps in Basking Ridge during the summer. Now, with a highly anticipated varsity season about to get under way, Chrissy is looking forward to making the transition from center forward to attacking center midfielder in Ridge's new alignment.

"I think we are better than we were last year," said Chrissy, whose teammates include highly regarded defender Erin Convery. "We have more confidence, all our scrimmages have gone well, and our rivalries in the Skyland Conference are like a bloodbath, it's so competitive."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 24, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...


Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Arts & Entertainment Other

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...