Riley Knudsen: star athlete and D1 soccer commit

Senior+captain%2C+Riley+Knudsen%2C+kicks+the+ball+up+center+field+in+the+Lancer+Stadium.

Courtesy of Riley Knudsen

Senior captain, Riley Knudsen, kicks the ball up center field in the Lancer Stadium.

Cassidy Taylor, Reporter

You may have seen her on the soccer field, or on the volleyball court. Riley Knudsen is a D1 college soccer commit and has represented sports at Carlsbad high school for years. After graduating she will go on to play soccer at Purdue, which is located in Indiana. Knudsen has impacted many lives at Carlsbad campus including teammates, peers, coaches, teachers, and more.

From a very young age, Knudsen has been inspired by her dad and brother to do sports. Whether it was on a soccer field or a volleyball court, she has always been competing and working to improve herself within sports.

“My dad is a volleyball coach so I pretty much grew up in a gym and I’ve been playing a lot of my life,” Knudsen said. “Then, my brother started playing soccer when we were younger and I would always watch him do it and I wanted to try it out as well.”

Throughout many years of sports, Knudsen has found soccer and volleyball to be a major factor in her life. From the team to the individual aspect, Knudsen has improved herself not only as a player, but also as a person.

“I’d say that sports are definitely a huge part of who I am,” Knudsen said. “The companionship of being on a team, and the competitiveness, and the desire to compete and win.”

Knudsen has played club for countless years as well as played for the women soccer program here at Carlsbad High since her junior year. She has found there to be many differences in the style of play between the two programs.

“The biggest difference between club and high school is probably the intensity,” Knudsen said. “High school is more for fun and you get to play with your classmates and school friends. While club is more intense, there is a lot more going on and there is a lot more expectations for you and obviously you pay to be there so its a bigger commitment.”

Despite the differences between club and high school soccer, Knudsen has found there to be challenges in both.

“My biggest challenge in sports has probably been just the mental block, it is kind of cliche, but just yourself you know?” Knudsen said. “You are only as good as the amount of effort and work you put in and the commitment to do so, to get better and improve is a big deal.”

Sports are challenging and put athletes through both mental and physical challenges. However, Knudsen has found there to be many good moments in sports, even through her hardest challenges.

“My favorite part about soccer is probably the competition and getting to play against really good teams,” Knudsen said. “I love competing and the rush of competing to win against someone who is equally as skilled as you.”

In July of 2021 Knudsen verbally committed to play D1 soccer and receive an education at Purdue University in the Big 10. She has many goals in which she hopes to achieve while at Purdue University.

“The first goal is to play my freshman year which I am doing by making sure I am in shape. I am doing track thing spring so that will get me in running shape and then just making sure I am on top of it club wise so when I get there I can play,” Knudsen said. “Then obviously when I am an upperclassman at Purdue, my goal is to be captain and to get some Big 10 or All American awards.”

While at Carlsbad High School, Knudsen was made captain of the varsity women’s soccer team. She also represents her club team at City S.C. as a captain of her team. Knudsen has been able to grow as a person and player through her captain role.

“I think being captain has definitely molded me into a leader,” Knudsen said. “My coach is always pushing me and my co-captain to take charge and to organize things and all that. Even though I think I was not necessarily born super extroverted, I think I have definitely grow into the role. It has definitely helped me to come out of my shell and take charge.”