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.
Junior midfielder, Sherwood (Ore.)
2011 Team record: 19-0 (Class 5A)
2011 Team standing: Class 5A state champions
2011 Goals: 9
2011 Assists: 22
2011 Points per game: 1.72
Career goals: 25
Career assists: 39
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Tallied two goals and three assists in three postseason matches for the Bowmen. 1995 Region IV Olympic Development Program Team member. 2011 Class 5A co-Player of the Year. 2011 Northwest Oregon Conference co-Player of the Year.
Anna Marie Popma
Senior forward, Tualatin (Ore.)
2011 Team record: 19-0 (Class 6A)
2011 Team standing: Class 6A state champions
2011 Goals: 23
2011 Assists: 16
2011 Points per game: 3.00
Career goals: 100
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Boise State University
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Returned from a broken collarbone to play the final four games of the postseason for the Timberwolves, recording three goals and two assists, including the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Sunset (Portland, Ore.) for the state title. Before breaking her collarbone against McMinnville (Ore.) on Oct. 11, popped in 20 goals and 14 assists in nine games. 2011 Oregonian Class 6A Player of the Year. Two-time First Team All-State selection. 2011 Class 6A state championship game Most Valuable Player.
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.
Maryn Beutler: Senior midfielder, Bend (Ore.)
Jill Farley: Sophomore forward/defender, Tualatin (Ore.)
Mikayla Howes: Junior defender, Sherwood (Ore.)
Jessica Imbrie: Junior forward, Sherwood (Ore.)
Kelsey Wagner: Junior midfielder, Tualatin (Ore.)
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.