Senior gears up to play at the next level

Star goalie looks forward to playing at Seattle Pacific University

Senior+Riley+Travis+makes+a+save+in+a+game+against+Nathan+Hale+last+year.+She+will+play+for+Seattle+Pacific+University+in+the+fall.+%28Shingle+archives%29
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Senior gears up to play at the next level

Senior Riley Travis makes a save in a game against Nathan Hale last year. She will play for Seattle Pacific University in the fall. (Shingle archives)

Senior Riley Travis makes a save in a game against Nathan Hale last year. She will play for Seattle Pacific University in the fall. (Shingle archives)

Senior Riley Travis makes a save in a game against Nathan Hale last year. She will play for Seattle Pacific University in the fall. (Shingle archives)

Senior Riley Travis makes a save in a game against Nathan Hale last year. She will play for Seattle Pacific University in the fall. (Shingle archives)

Elsa Anderson, Features Editor

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While many high school athletes dream of playing college sports, very few are able to achieve this goal. One athlete skilled enough to get this opportunity is senior soccer star Riley Travis. She committed to play goalie for Seattle Pacific University in March of 2017. At SPU, she will study physiology.

How it began
Travis originally got involved in the sport in part due to her older sisters’ involvement in it. “Both of my older sisters play soccer and they both play in college, so that’s what I wanted to do as well,” Travis said. “It’s been my dream to play college soccer ever since I was little.”
Although it started as just an extracurricular when she was around 4 years old, soccer quickly became something that Travis was passionate about, playing on a series of club teams before playing at the high school level. “I played rec soccer from probably when I was four to when I was about 10,” Travis said.

“When I was ten, I joined Seattle United and I was on a regional team. Eventually I got moved up to Tango, which is the B team and then Copa after that. In seventh or eighth grade, I decided to go to Crossfire because they had an ECNL team, which, at that time, was the highest level for girls soccer. I stayed with Crossfire ECNL until last year. Then I joined Crossfire DA this year, which is basically within the same club. I have the same team and the same coach, but we’re just in a different league at this point.”

School experience
Travis played for the school team through her junior year, when she was also named a captain. She made the varsity team as a freshman, something that is fairly uncommon. Due to the demands of her club team she was unable to play for the school her senior year.
Travis first discovered her skill as a goalie accidentally. “I started playing goalie full-time when I was probably in seventh grade, so around 12 years old,” Travis said. “One of my coaches forced me to play in goal one practice and, I don’t know, I guess I liked it and decided to stick with it because she told me I was good at it.”
While she is overall very excited for the next step in her athletic career, she will miss the friendships she has made and the different intensity that comes with playing at the high school level.

The next level
Because Travis has played at an extremely high level on her club teams for several years now, she feels prepared for the rigorous schedule that will come with playing at the college level. “[My club team] practices four days a week, a lot of times 5 days a week, and that prepares me a lot for what it’s going to be like in college,” Travis said. “And just the competition, we play against other kids who are also going to the college level, so I’ll be prepared to play at that.”
Committing to such an intense athletic schedule can be tough at times, but Travis knows that it will all be worth it in the end. “There have obviously been times where I’m like ‘Oh my gosh I don’t want to go to practice today.’ There have been rough patches where I’m not doing as well, but there’s never been a time where I just want to quit, because I know what I’m working towards,” she said.
While she knows she will need to continue to work hard, Travis’s love for the game and commitment to her teammates will continue to push her through the tough times.

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