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.
Senior forward, Winfield (W.Va.)
2011 Team record: 19-3-1 (Class AAA)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class AAA state championship game
2011 Goals: 27
2011 Assists: 11
2011 Points per game: 1.65
Career goals: 81
Career assists: 51
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Kentucky
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded five goals and six assists in five postseason matches, including a hat trick (plus an assist) in a 5-0 rout of Nitro (W.Va.) in the state semifinals. Contributed directly to 38 of Winfield’s 100 goals (38 percent) during the season. In the postseason, had a direct hand in 11 of the Generals’ 20 goals (55 percent). 2011 NSCAA Girls High School Scholar Athlete of the Year. 2011 NSCAA State Player of the Year. 2011 West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association Class AAA Player of the Year. 2011 West Virginia Sports Writers Association Class AAA Player of the Year.
Senior midfielder/forward, Charleston Catholic (Charleston, W.Va.)
2011 Team record: 9-9-1 (Class AA-A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class AA-A sectional final
2011 Goals: 10
2011 Assists: 10
2011 Points per game: 1.05
Career goals: 89
Career assists: 53
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: West Virginia Wesleyan College
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Had a direct hand in 20 of Charleston Catholic's 33 goals (60.6 percent) on the season. Scored both goals for the Fighting Irish in their 2-0 win over St. Joseph to open the postseason. 2011 NSCAA All-Region IV selection. 2011 West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association Class AA-A Player of the Year. 2010 West Virginia Sports Writers Association Class AA-A Player of the Year.
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.
Emily Godwin: Junior midfielder, Buckhannon-Upshur (Buckhannon, W.Va.)
Lucky Lucente: Senior forward, George Washington (Charleston, W.Va.)
Michelle Newhouse: Junior goalkeeper, Capital (Charleston, W.Va.)
Kaylynn Petricin: Senior forward, University (Morgantown, W.Va.)
Courtney Underwood: Senior midfielder, Hurricane (W.Va.)
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.