The Steinert High girls soccer team had big expectations this fall, and if it was going to reach those lofty heights, it needed its best players to deliver in the biggest moments.
That’s exactly what Adriana Ryder did.
The senior forward scored 23 goals to help the Spartans become the first team since 2018 to go 13-0 in the Colonial Valley Conference.
Ryder is our CVC Player of the Year. She is the first Steinert player to earn the award since Amanda Worrall in 2007.
“She was our go-to player,” coach Mike Hastings said. “We went as she went, her work ethic was contagious. Nobody worked harder than her, it meant a lot to her to be successful.”
In addition to her 23 goals being a league high, Ryder added eight assists and finished with a CVC-best 54 points. She finished with 40 career goals in three varsity seasons.
“As a forward, your job is to score goals,” Ryder said. “I think just to stay focused on that, and with the help of my teammates, I couldn’t have done it on my own. They helped me accomplish that.”
What made Ryder tough to mark was an ability to move across the field. She can play wide right and cut in on her left foot, or play through the middle as an attacking midfielder.
“She works really hard and you put the talent on top of that and the sky is the limit,” Hastings said. “She’s a leader on the field. She wants our players to be better, she gets on them and it’s always nice to see her get the reward.”
Wherever she lined up, it was trouble for defenders.
“We wanted to win as many games as we could, so to keep that going was a huge accomplishment for us,” said Ryder, who is uncommitted but plans to play in college. “We worked really hard for it, and in those close games we gave it everything until the whistle blew. That was really huge for us and it was a big accomplishment.”
While the goals and points are nice, the team success was even sweeter. Steinert finished 17-2 overall, won the Colonial Division title, earned the No. 1 seed in the Central Group III section, and ultimately, reached the sectional semifinals before its season ended with a heartbreaking, 2-1, loss to Brick Memorial.
“From the start, we knew we had a strong team,” Ryder said. “We had most of our players coming back, most of the same lineup. We had high hopes for this year and we knew if we wanted to make it far we had to work for it and not let our egos get the best of us, and stay focused and stay on track. We kept that end goal in mind and I think we did the best we could.”
Ryder is joined on the All-CVC XI by her twin sister, Juliana, and junior defender Alyssa Hendricksen. Hastings is the CVC Coach of the Year.
The Ryder twins combined for 34 goals and 20 assists.
“It’s something I’ll cherish forever,” Adriana said. “I love playing with her and to make all these memories with her for our last year playing soccer together was just the best for both of us.”