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Too many times the defensive players on a soccer field go unnoticed. They are in the back of the pack, observing the exciting, headline-grabbing action in front of them. But for one Chambersburg boys soccer player, standing in the back is not enough.
Chambersburg's Ryley Reed has made his offensive presence known in some very important games, including a statement Mid Penn Commonwealth Division win over State College, which put the Trojans into third place last week. In the 1-0 victory over the Little Lions, in which Reed scored the game-winning goal, he was also one of the keys to the shutout on the defensive end.
Reed also had a goal in Chambersburg's 6-0 victory over Red Land, and in a frustrating non-league draw with Waynesboro. In addition, Reed had a standout defensive effort in a 2-0 shutout of first-place Cumberland Valley.
He is the P.O. Male Athlete of the Week.
"He doesn't get the recognition he deserves," Chambersburg coach Corey Grove said. "During the Cumberland Valley game last week, he came up really big for us toward the end of the game with a slide tackle to stop a breakaway and prevent a goal. That was the first time they've been shut out all year."
His defensive efforts surely don't go unnoticed on the blank scoreboard - the Trojans have given up just seven goals in nine games so far this season, and have gone seven straight games without a loss, despite starting the season 0-2.
"I think it's really starting to pick up for us," Reed said. "The offensive players are really starting to work well together, and we have a lot of communication in the back. Cumberland Valley was the best competition we were going to play, and we really picked it up. If we had chances we had to finish."
Reed's only opportunity to score comes on corner kicks, which he's converted on twice this season, both headers, including the game-winner over State College.
"I pretty much only get the chance on corner kicks or if we are up by a couple goals," Reed said. "When I go up on corner I need to be smart with my runs and a lot of time I just get lucky to be in the right spot when the ball comes in."
"I'm extremely happy with the character of our guys," Grove said. "This is the same squad that started 0-2. They are getting used to who is on the field and we have felt out our identity in a sense, and our confidence is higher. We've got three straight shutouts against good teams and we believe in each other. We know if we can go out there and play our game, we can beat anyone."
Ryley Reed, Chambersburg
Sport: Boys soccer
Position: Center back
Parents: Jason and Amy Reed
Other interests: Reed also plays on a Chambersburg club soccer team
Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies
Athlete most admired: David Beckham
Surprising fact: Reed previously played baseball, football and basketball, but decided to focus solely on soccer after 6th grade.
Statistics: Reed had a hand in each of Chambersburg's Mid Penn Commonwealth victories last week. He netted the eventual game-winning goal against State College, then backed up to put forth a defensive effort to lock in a win over the Little Lions. He also had helped register a shutout over Cumberland Valley, and scored in a 6-0 win over Red Land.