Eye on POY: Maryland girls soccer

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Midge Purce

Junior forward, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)

2011 Team record: 19-1 (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference)

2011 Team standing: Lost WCAC tournament semifinals

2011 Goals: 30

2011 Assists: 17

2011 Points per game: 2.47

Career goals: 74

Career assists: 35

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 All-Met Player of the Year as named by The Washington Post. Two-time NSCAA All-American. 2011 U.S. Soccer Under-17 National Team member. No. 132 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

Ashley Spivey

Senior forward/midfielder, McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.)

2011 Team record: 18-3 (Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Conference A)

2011 Team standing: IAAM Conference A state champions

2011 Goals: 18

2011 Assists: 16

2011 Points per game: 1.62

Career goals: 78

Career assists: 59

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: University of Maryland

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded three goals and five assists in three postseason games as the Eagles rolled to the IAAM Conference A state title. 2011 U.S. Soccer Under-18 National Team member. Three-time NSCAA All-American selection. Two-time NSCAA Youth All-American selection. Two-time All-Metro Player of the Year as named by the Baltimore Sun. No. 2 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Riley Barger: Senior midfielder, Bryn Mawr (Baltimore, Md.)

Imani Dorsey: Sophomore midfielder, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)

Jamie Kator: Senior forward, Montgomery Blair (Silver Spring, Md.)

Morgan Ruhl: Senior goalkeeper, McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.)

Alexandra Wong: Junior forward, Richard Montgomery (Rockville, Md.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.