Kaleigh Riehl Named MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist
Penn State women’s soccer defender Kaleigh Riehl is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy.
Riehl started all 25 matches at center back for the Nittany Lions this season, earning Big Ten Defender of the Year recognition as well as a spot on the conference’s first team.
Penn State lost to Florida State 1-0 in the NCAA quarterfinals last Friday in Tallahassee. All four of the tournament’s top seeds advanced to this weekend’s College Cup in Cary, N.C.
Stanford, which will play the Seminoles Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park, has three representatives among this year’s MAC Hermann semifinalists — the most of any college program. Christie Welsh (2001) and Raquel Rodríguez (2015) are the only Penn State players to have won the award.
Riehl, a rising redshirt senior from Fairfax Station, Virginia, will again anchor the Nittany Lion back line alongside fellow returners Ellie Jean and Amanda Dennis. The Nittany Lions allowed their opponents to score just 13 goals this season.
Riehl has plenty of experience with the U.S. youth national teams, most recently representing her country at a U-23 training camp in Los Angeles this May. She also participated in the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea with a handful of Penn State teammates.
Riehl will enter her final season in State College next fall with 76 career starts under her belt. The kinesiology major and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar is a likely candidate for a captaincy role following Emily Ogle and Maddie Nolf’s graduation.
The three finalists for this year’s MAC Hermann Trophy will be selected December 7 and the winner will be announced January 4 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
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“Whether this team is a No. 3 seed or or a No. 4 seed, they’re going to have a real opportunity to be in the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re a Penn State basketball fan, that’s like the Final Four. That week of hype and attention gives a team a brand.”
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