WESTFIELD, NJ — At 6-foot-4 goalkeeper Ryan Friedberg knows how to stop a soccer shot, and an Ivy League school has taken note.
The 16-year-old junior at Westfield High School recently committed to play soccer at Cornell University. Friedberg is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.
“His ability to use his size is a big advantage to come up with big saves,” said head coach Eric Shaw. “Ryan is a good shot stopper with good reactions and angle play. He is strong off his line to win air balls and is improving on his leadership and communication.”
Friedberg has been playing varsity soccer since his freshman year. The team, he said, is improving each day, through practice and by watching film of its prior games.
“It’s going really well,” Friedberg said. “We have a young back line. All the young guys and the old guys are stepping up to the plate, and it’s working out.”
The team has won two out of the three matches it has played so far, beating Union and Summit but losing to Elizabeth. While having some height on his opponents helps, the Friedberg noted the sport also requires that he crouch low.
“Being tall helps but then again you have to get down low,” he said. “It’s about getting a balance of both.”
Friedberg, who also plays basketball, said he excels in math and science and that he is looking into a major in engineering when he heads off to college.
But first he’s got more shots to block for the Blue Devils.
“Ryan is only a junior and we are looking for great things from him this year and his senior year,” Shaw said. “His verbal commitment to Cornell University shows you that he is a big timekeeper but more importantly those schools recruit you for your character.”
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 20 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.