The Williston Northampton School’s Caitlyn Riley signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on the NCAA Division 1 women’s soccer team at Michigan State University during a special ceremony at Williston’s Reed Campus Center on February 1.
Riley joked that her face hurt from smiling so much as she signed the agreement to attend Michigan State as part of the Class of 2016. The letter indicates that other schools may no longer recruit Riley. Also at the ceremony were Director of Athletics Mark Conroy, Director of College Counseling Tim Cheney, and Riley’s parents and friends.
Riley, who lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is described by her coach, Erin Davey, as a “stand-out player and leader.”
“She held down the middle of our field as a stopper her senior year and was a huge reason for the success of the team this past season,” Davey wrote in an email. “At the next level, I believe Caitlyn will only get better and stronger…if she continues to push herself, she will have as big of an impact at Michigan State as she did for Williston Soccer. We have some big shoes to fill in replacing her on our field.”
For her part, Riley said the area, coaches, and team at Michigan State “just felt right.”
“When I met the coaches and was given a tour, I just knew I wanted to go there,” she said. “Being able to play at that level is a really big accomplishment and being part of a team like that—it’s exciting.”
Riley is the fifth Williston senior this academic year to sign a National Letter of Intent. Bridget Instrum (Granby, MA) will attend The Ohio State University for lacrosse; Sarah Wilkie (Ashby, MA) will attend Penn State for ice hockey; Jonathan Deaton (Longmeadow, MA) will attend Stanford University for gymnastics; and Chad Adams (Ware, MA) will attend The College of St. Rose for baseball.
Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, Michigan. The women’s soccer team had a 14-6-1 record in the 2011 season and finished third in the Big Ten Tournament, after Penn State and Illinois. Four Spartans earned All-Big Ten honors, including senior Laura Heyboer, who was later drafted by Sky Blue FC.