By Mitch Silver
The Rye High Girls’ Soccer team ended its season tied for the Class A Section Championship. Instrumental in that outcome was center back Reilly Traynor, a four-year varsity starter and all-State player.
When she was 12, Reilly and Annabelle Thomas, her Rye Middle School classmate, were returning from a summer soccer camp in Rhode Island when their car was rear-ended by a box truck driven by a driver under the influence of drugs and texting. The two girls were taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, where Reilly was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in critical condition. She was diagnosed with three brain bleeds from a traumatic head injury. As serious as her injury was, she was fortunate to be released from the hospital in just a week.
Reilly’s post-hospital care required physical therapy three times a week for two months, occupational and cognitive therapy twice a week and no sports for the better part of a year. Both Anabelle and Reilly returned to soccer the following year.
Rye Head Coach Rich Savage takes it from there. “Reilly Traynor is the anchor to Rye’s defense. We finished the 2021 season with a 19-game unbeaten streak, undefeated League title, and a Sectional championship.
Reilly provided calm confidence in the back line, always shutting down the other team’s top players. Moreover, Reilly was an offensive threat for the Garnets, finishing her senior year with eight goals and three assists.
Along with being awarded Athlete of the Month, Reilly was named the League player of the year. Reilly has set the standard for the Rye High School Girls’ Soccer program. Next year, Reilly will continue her athletic career at Bucknell University.”
Asked why she chose Bucknell, Reilly said, “I really love the place. It’s very inclusive, not so competitive.” And what does she plan to major in? “I’m pretty much a math/science student. I love problem-solving. My favorite course is AP Calculus AB, taught by Mr. Murolo. Tentatively, I think I’ll study psychology. Ever since my accident and my brain injuries, I’ve learned a lot about how the mind works. It’s fascinating.”
Reilly’s extracurriculars have included the Spanish Club and the Cancer Awareness Club. She’s also one of the managers of the Rye High Hockey team, on which her friend Anabelle Thomas is the starting goalkeeper.
“I want to thank my parents and my older brothers for enabling me to win the Lions Club award. Also, my coaches: Mr. Savage, Mr. Nardo, and Mr. Addesso. They’ve all been very supportive.”
Reilly’s November win earns her the right to join the other monthly winners at the Lions Club’s year-end get-together in June, when the Rye High Athlete of the Year will be announced.