On many sports teams, you have players who play in set positions, set places. In football, wide receivers catch the ball, in soccer, goalies keep the ball out of the net and in baseball, pitchers throw the ball.
Throughout her career, soccer senior midfielder/defender Ryley Hansen has played it all.
“Ryley is what you would call a utility in the soccer world,” said head coach Tim Crompton. “Though she is really strong as a central midfielder, she will go and play just about any position we ask of her, and she does it well regardless of the position.”
Hansen agrees that one of the things that has helped her thrive in her college career has been that versatility.
“Playing at Weber has given me a chance to really stretch and grow as a player,” Hansen said. “It has put me in some interesting situations, and I love the opportunity it has given me to develop.”
But for Hansen, her time with Crompton didn’t start at Weber.
“I have known coach since I was 5 years old,” she said. “Not only has he coached me throughout the years, but he really has become like a second father for me.”
Crompton is equally proud of her ability to rise to the challenge, particularly this season.
“This has been a rough season for the team as a whole,” Crompton said. “Because of the flexibility and versatility of Ryley, we have been able to make all the needed changes with the lineup that we have asked the girls to do in the absence of several of our starters.”
Hansen has had a quiet, yet fruitful career playing for the Wildcats. Since her start as a freshman, she has seen playing time in every single game that the Wildcats have played, including as a starter in the majority of the team’s games. In her playing time, she has been involved with six goals for the Wildcats (three goals scored and three assists), and was a key part in a Wildcat defense that only allowed 18 goals her freshman year.
Of the many things that the coaches and training staff have admired about Hansen over the years, one has been her dependability on the field.
“She has been one of the solid players we have grown to trust as she steps on the field,” Crompton said. “In the athletic world, it is now becoming a rare thing to see a player who is that dependable. Particularly with this season, her solidarity has been a unifying part of this team.”
As Hansen reflects on her final year, she has weighed the good with the bad, and knows that only so much can be said.
“I know that this season has been tough for all of us,” Hansen said. “But for each player who will return next year, forget about it and give it your all next year. Use the losses of the past as fuel to help you grow and develop into the player you most want to be, and you will succeed.”
Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering like a fool at any Wildcat sporting event