Every coach longs for a player who exemplifies an attitude of selflessness.. always putting the team ahead of herself.
Somebody who enters each practice with a drive to improve. Not for herself, but for the team.
Somebody who takes the lessons she has learned and passes them on to her teammates, always having their back when times get tough.
Pete Tonsoline, the Head Coach over at Iroquois, had that player show up to Varsity tryouts 4 years ago.
In the 4 years that Senior co-captain Riley DeGrace has been a starter on the Lady Chiefs’ Varsity Field Hockey team, she has grown into a player that will have a long lasting impact on their program.
When asked what DeGrace meant to the team, Tonsoline wasn’t short on praise.
“Her ball-handling skills are beyond words, since she is able to adapt them to grass as well as turf. Despite her remarkable, innate athletic talent, she is one of the most selfless, caring individuals towards her teammates that I have ever seen. She is the catalyst that brings up the level of play for all our girls.”
A 4-year starter at right wing, DeGrace has grown into a dependable cornerstone of the Lady Chiefs’ offense.
Last night, it was DeGrace who weaved through six Blue Devil defenders en route to dishing the ball across to her teammates; that effort ultimately setting up Iroquois’ first goal of the night.
Last week, DeGrace led the charge against Williamsville North in Iroquois’ upset win over the #1 ranked team in Western New York. DeGrace scored a goal in regulation and assisted on the game winner in OT.
“Individually, she exemplifies the true definition of an elite female athlete. She has a personality, incredible leadership traits, a positive attitude, and caring demeanor that is unparalleled,”
-Pete Tonsoline, Head Coach for Iroquois Field Hockey
These personal qualities piqued the interest of Div II Limestone College in South Carolina. Riley recently made a verbal commitment to their program.
On behalf of the entire team at WNY Athletics, I’d like to congratulate Riley on being selected as the WNY Athletics Field Hockey Player of the Week!
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