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Eye on POY: New York 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.

Cari Roccaro

Senior midfielder/defender, East Islip High (Islip Terrace, NY)

2011 Team record: 11-3-1

2011 Team standing: Lost in Suffolk County sectionals

2011 Goals: 11

2011 Assists: 4

2011 Points per game: 1.0

Career goals: 36

Career assists: 19

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Notre Dame

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-American in 2010, 2011; Long Island Player of the Year; NSCAA New York Player of the Year; Ranked No. 4 senior by ESPNHS; Member of the U-20 Women's National Team.

Jackie Firenze

Senior midfielder, C.W. Baker High (Baldwinsville, NY)

2011 Team record: 16-2

2011 Team standing: Lost in sectional semifinals

2011 Goals: 11

2011 Assists: 9

2011 Points per game: 1.11

Career goals: 52

Career assists: 36

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Syracuse

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-American; Central New York Player of the Year; First Team All-State; Ranked No. 122 senior 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.

Jill Mulholland: MacArthur High (Levittown, NY) Senior midfielder

Samantha McGuire: John Jay-East Fishkill High (Wappingers Falls, NY) Senior forward

D'Yonna Riley: Washingtonville High (Washingtonville, NY) Senior defender

Caitlyn LaPier: Chazy Central School (Chazy, NY) Senior forward

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.