Ali Riley Named Stanford/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week
Senior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake School) of the Stanford women's soccer team was selected as the Stanford/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of October 12-18.
October 19, 2009
Senior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake School) of the No. 1 Stanford women's soccer team was selected as the Stanford/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week for October 12-18.
Riley, a left outside back, was vital not only in defense, but in the attack, as Stanford beat No. 15 USC, 4-0, and No. 3 UCLA, 2-0, to move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific-10 Conference.
A skillful player with great speed, Riley can close down quickly while playing defense and lead the attack while on offense. That was the case against UCLA, when Riley beat a defender and sent in a cross that Cami Levin headed in from the back post for the Cardinal's second goal.
Riley's ability to make overlapping runs from her defensive position was an important piece of strategy by coach Paul Ratcliffe, who wanted the outside backs to push forward in an effort to escape UCLA's emphasis on plugging up the middle of the field.
In addition, Stanford's defense has registered nine shutouts this season, and has not allowed a goal in the run of play in the past 12 matches, with goals coming only off dead ball situations.
This is Riley's first Stanford/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor and the second for the women's soccer team in the 2009-10 season. Riley and the Cardinal currently boast a 15-0 overall record and a perfect 4-0 mark in the Pac-10 heading into this weekend's road trip to Washington.
Also nominated: Gabi Ailes (Women's Volleyball), Bobby Bollier (Men's Swimming), Mallory Burdette (Women's Tennis), Chris Derrick (Men's Cross Country), Rebecca Durham (Women's Golf), Alex Gits (Women's Cross Country), Andrew Luck (Football), Jacob Smith (Men's Water Polo), Ryan Thomas (Soccer), Xanthe Travlos (Field Hockey).