BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Due to her success on and off the field, Lehigh women's soccer senior Alyssa Riporti has been named one of just 30 candidates in the nation for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, as announced on Friday. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ® , the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Riporti is one of four candidates from the Patriot League and Lehigh's first candidate since Jana Basubas in 2011
Impressive in the classroom, Riporti currently owning a cumulative GPA over 3.2 as a Marketing and HR double major. She has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll every year, and cracked the Dean's List (for a semester GPA over 3.6) last spring. Riporti has garnered the Faculty Athletics Council Award for semester GPAs over 3.2 as well. In the summer of 2015, Riporti enjoyed a study abroad experience in Vicenza, Italy through Lehigh University. While there, she explored the country's geographic landscape, architecture, culture and language, learning about ancient architectural drawing techniques through readings, projects and discussions.
Riporti has emerged as not only one of the top leaders on her team, but also throughout the entire Lehigh Athletics department. Riporti is a two-time team captain and a recipient of the Contribution to Student Life Award, a Lehigh University Leadership Award. She has been a Student-Athlete Mentor, conducting weekly meetings for first-year student-athletes, which help them transition to Lehigh. The meetings center around time management skills and study tips. Riporti was elected to be part of Leadership Legacies, the most elite leadership program at Lehigh, attending weekly meetings to improve player-coach relationships and team culture. She was also a member of the Marketing Club and the Pride Program for Emerging Leadership, participating in weekly athletic leadership meetings that focus on improving the well-being of student-athletes.
In addition, Riporti is part of "Love Your Melon," which reserves hats to donate to children battling cancer through a buy one, give one program. The program also sponsors and visits a child battling cancer. Before Lehigh, Riporti was a team captain for three-time national finalist Match Fit Soccer and senior captain for Scotch Plains Fanwood Varsity Soccer, which captured four county championships in her time.
Riporti has given back to the community through a number of Lehigh Athletics initiatives. Riporti has taken part in the Reading Rocks program at local Donegan Elementary School when her whole team spends approximately one hour with the students, helping them read before getting to know the youngsters through playing games and other activities. In addition, Riporti has been part of Adopt-A-Family where the Mountain Hawks provide a holiday for a local underprivileged family. The process includes shopping for gifts, wrapping them and delivering them in early December.
Riporti has emerged as one of the top players in the Patriot League, and region. A first team All-Patriot League honoree in 2016, she was also named NSCAA third team All-Region. Riporti was voted preseason All-League heading into the 2017 campaign. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Riporti has started every game on the back line, tallying a goal and assist in her sophomore and junior campaigns. Riporti's impact goes far beyond individual statistics. She helped lead the Mountain Hawks' defense to eight straight shutouts to begin 2016. Lehigh was the last team in the nation to allow a goal in 2016, eventually extending its shutout streak to 832:31 dating back to the previous season. The Mountain Hawks finished the year allowing just 12 goals in 18 games. Lehigh earned the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament (out of 10 teams) and finished the year 11-5-2, good for its most wins since 2010.
So far in 2017, Riporti was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 28 after leading Lehigh's defense to a 1-0 shutout at Penn and 2-1 overtime victory at Temple. As of Sept. 22, the Mountain Hawks have recorded 16 shutouts since the beginning of 2016. They've allowed just six goals in nine games so far this season.
Each of the two candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup ® championships in December.
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Women's Soccer Candidates
Michaela Abam, West Virginia
Chidera Akubuilo, UNLV
Alex Anthony, USC
Alexa Ben, DePaul
Rachel Bloznalis, Boston University
Lauren Clem, Northwestern
Kristen Dodson, Auburn
Eliza Doll, Colgate
Imani Dorsey, Duke
Jessica Frey, Northern Kentucky
Zoey Goralski, UCLA
Maja Green, CSU Bakersfield
Alyssa Heintschel, Ball State
Carlin Hudson, Yale
Alexis Kiehl, Dayton
Allison LaDuke, Saint Francis
Jovani McCaskill, CSUN
Savannah McCaskill, South Carolina
Kristin Moyer, Portland State
Brooke Murphy, New Hampshire
Kiana Palacios, UC Irvine
Alyssa Riporti, Lehigh
Becca Rolfe, High Point
Gabby Seiler, Florida
Clare Shea, Army West Point
Andi Sullivan, Stanford
Martha Thomas, Charlotte
Rachel Thun-Blankenship, Tulsa
Michele Tremblay, Siena
Chloe Williams, Eastern Washington