From forward to keeper and everywhere in between
September 30, 2016
Riley Adams is displaying her versatility by jumping into a position she hasn’t played since she was a kid.
Adams played defender for Simpson her freshman year, and last season she dabbled in midfield and forward positions. But no matter what position she played, she was always a field player.
“We proposed the switch to Riley over the summer,” Coach Jill Serafino said. “We had one keeper returning in Zoe (Seiler), but she had suffered an injury last winter and had surgery in the spring.”
Serafino didn’t know what Seiler’s recovery would look like, and there was an incoming freshman with an injury that she didn’t want to push. This resulted in Serafino reaching out to Adams to be a keeper this season.
Adams was not a complete stranger to the position but was still unfamiliar with keeper.
She filled in for Seiler during spring training drills and scrimmages. Adams had also played keeper when she was younger.
Along with some history of the position, Serafino said Adams was her choice because of her confidence, fearlessness and knowledge of the game.
Serafino said Adams spent a lot of time training to be a goalie.
Because Simpson coaches have strict regulations about the contact they can have with players during off seasons, Adams worked out with her dad and brother over the summer.
She said they would take a lot of shots on goal while she tried to stop them. Adams would also watch videos of professional keepers to see how they played the position. After returning to Simpson, Adams spent a lot of time working with Simpson’s goalkeeper coach.
According to Serafino, Adams improves every day and keeps learning new skills and honing the ones she had previously.
Adams said her favorite part of being a keeper was being a leader.
“You get to be vocal and can see the whole field for the goalie box, so you’re able to help your teammates and bring everyone together,” Adams said. “I haven’t always been a leader, and this has forced me into that kind of role.”
Her favorite part of being a keeper is making saves.
She said it energizes the team and makes everyone breathe a sigh of relief.
Her very favorite saves came during the 0-0 draw against Grinnell.
She was able to keep them from scoring the whole game and then continued to hold Grinnell scoreless during two overtimes. Adams had seven saves during this game, which was also her first career start at keeper.
On the season, Adams has started four games and appeared in one more. According to Simpson Sports Information, Adams has 27 saves on the season and has a save percent of .711.
Simpson women’s soccer plays again Oct. 1 against Luther.