Dec. 9, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford senior defender Ali Riley was named as the Pacific-10 Conference women's soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as presented by Toyo Tires.
Riley, who also was named as an NSCAA third-team All-American this week, was selected for the award based on her play on the field and her accomplishments in the classroom. Riley, a psychology major, has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.82.
"I am very honored to be receiving this award, and I would like to share it with my teammates who have pushed me to be the best I can be both on the field and in the classroom," Riley said.
Riley was a dynamic player and captain for a Stanford team that went 25-1 and reached the NCAA championship final for the first time in school history. Stanford earned its first Pac-10 title since 2002 and sixth overall. In doing so, Stanford registered the first perfect regular season for any Pac-10 team since conference play began in 1993.
Riley, a member of the New Zealand national team, was vital both in attacking and defensive roles. Riley often built the attack from the back, or by overlapping up the wing and providing crosses and through balls. Her skill and quickness - she was the fastest player on a Stanford team with excellent speed - also made her nearly impossible to beat as a defender.
Riley is the second Stanford player to receive the award, following in the footsteps of her former teammate, Rachel Buehler, in 2007.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.
Each Pac-10 institution nominates one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo® will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Pac-10 Scholar-Athletes for fall sports:
Men's cross country: Brandon Bethke (Arizona State), 3.47, interdisciplinary studies
Women's cross country: Nicole Blood (Oregon), 3.49, journalism
Football: Mike Nixon (Arizona State, 4.07), political science
Men's soccer: Rylan Hawkins (Washington), 3.92, computer engineering
Women's soccer: Ali Riley (Stanford), 3.82, psychology
Women's Volleyball: Jill Collymore (Washington), 3.77, digital arts and psychology