Soccer

Glenbrook North’s Riley Philbin earns Gatorade Illinois girls soccer player of the year

Glenbrook North's Riley Philbin earns Gatorade Illinois girls soccer player of the year

Riley Philbin had one chance to play soccer at Glenbrook North. She made the most of it.

A club player her freshman and sophomore years, denied by COVID as a junior, the Wisconsin-bound forward enjoyed a senior season with her high school friends on the same field her parents played on 30 years ago.

What’s more, the 5-foot-7 forward established a new program record with 23 goals to go with 9 assists, was voted a team captain and team MVP by her teammates, and helped the Spartans to a 14-2-3 record and sectional semifinal appearance.

It equaled a rewarding senior spring that, on June 30, was capped by the announcement that Philbin was named the 2020-21 Gatorade Illinois girls soccer player of the year, a first for the Glenbrook North girls soccer program.

Spartans coach Anthony Valsamis, visiting family in the town of Poros on the Greek island of Kefalonia, delivered the good news via a 4 a.m. text message, Poros being 8 hours ahead.

Riley’s parents, Tom and Kristy, let their daughter sleep till about 6 a.m. before barging in.

“They were super-happy, super-proud of me,” Riley said.

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