Rio Hondo celebrates 2021 women's soccer graduating class, academic success

(Pictured left-right): Kealani Ng, Danielle Moore, and Isabel Rivera are three of five (Janessa Gallardo, Cheyenne Tucker) Rio Hondo women's soccer graduates this spring. (Courtesy Rio Hondo College Athletics)
(Pictured left-right): Kealani Ng, Danielle Moore, and Isabel Rivera are three of five (Janessa Gallardo, Cheyenne Tucker) Rio Hondo women's soccer graduates this spring. (Courtesy Rio Hondo College Athletics)

WHITTIER - Although the Rio Hondo College women's soccer team didn't compete on the field this past season, Roadrunner student-athletes were still hard at work in the classroom. Recently, head coach Jennifer Tanaka-Hoshijo and the program honored its 2021 graduating class as well as the team's academic success.

Currently, there are five members of the Roadrunners that are set to transfer to four-year universities either to continue playing soccer or for academics. Transferring are:

Janessa Gallardo (Wilson HS) accepted to UCI, UCSB, CSUF, CSUDH, CSUB, SDSU
Janessa competed in 19 games for Rio Hondo, she scored 9 goals and had 8 assists totaling 26 points. She was named captain for two years, in 2018 and 2019.   Janessa made the Dean's Honor List three times and was also named to the CCCSCA Scholar Athlete Team for two years 2019 and 2020. She was voted to the South Coast Conference first team and was the team's Black and Gold Award Winner in 2019. The Black and Gold Award is a player that demonstrates commitment to the team, understands effort and the importance of a positive attitude, shows enthusiasm at practice as well as games and always gives 110 percent. Janessa has been accepted to many top California universities and will be transferring in the fall of 2021. 

Isabel Rivera (Downey HS) transferring to Cal State Long Beach - Early Childhood Education
Isabel played in 7 games for the Roadrunners in 2019. She contributed on the wing for the team and was able to use her energy to make good things happen. Isabel was voted the Most Inspirational Player Award by the team for the 2019 season.  She was also named to the CCCSCA Scholar Athlete Team in 2020 with her 3.67 GPA.   Isabel will be transferring to Cal State Long Beach to earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. 

Cheyenne Tucker (Walnut HS) transferring to SDSU - Liberal Studies 
Cheyenne played in 19 games for Rio Hondo her freshman year. She scored 1 goal and had 1 assist to total 3 points. Cheyenne also stepped in to play in goal in a number of key games and did a fantastic job. In goal, she recorded a key win at Mt. SAC and a shutout vs. Compton, East Long Angeles, and Pasadena City. Cheyenne was named to the 2020 CCCSCA Scholar Athlete Team with her 3.61 GPA and over 24 units completed.  Cheyenne will be transferring to San Diego State University to earn her bachelor's degree in liberal studies.

Danielle Moore (Lynwood HS) transferring to San Francisco State - Criminal Justice
Dani played her first season with Rio Hondo in 2018 and was an integral part of the team playing both in a defensive and an attacking role. She played in 19 games, scored 7 goals and had 5 assists totaling 19 points for the year. Dani redshirted in 2019 and earned a 3.0 GPA in the fall of 2019.  Dani is transferring to SFSU to earn her bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Kealani Ng (Schurr HS) transferring to La Verne University - Business Administration
Kealani transferred to Rio Hondo from Hope International University for the 2019 season.  She redshirted for Rio Hondo in 2019.  Kealani was a hard worker and among the first to step up to help whenever needed.  Kealani also earned over a 3.0 GPA in the Fall of 2019.  She will be transferring to La Verne University to play soccer in fall 2021.

Rio Hondo earned its eighth consecutive United Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award in 2020 while five members of the squad received California Community College Soccer Coaches Association (CCCSCA) Scholar Athlete team recognition by earning over 24 units and a 3.3 minimum grade point average. Honored with the CCCSCA Scholar-Athlete Award (pictured below, left-right) were Alice Hernandez (3.91 GPA), Janessa Gallardo (3.77), Brianna Valdez (3.41), Isabel Rivera (3.67) and Cheyenne Tucker (3.61).



The women's soccer team is planning on returning to play for the upcoming fall 2021 season and look for a repeat of a 2019 campaign that saw the Roadrunners complete an undefeated South Coast Conference championship season as well as appearances in the state and national rankings.

(Chris Ruiz, Rio Hondo College Athletics)