The window on the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes 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 midfielder, Blue Valley West (Overland Park, Kan.)
2012 Team record: 14-1-2
2012 Team standing: Class 6A Northeast Regional final vs. Blue Valley Northwest on Thursday
2012 Goals: 17
2012 Assists: 20
Career goals: 57
Career assists: 75
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Fort Hays State University (Hays, Kan.)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 2.3 points per game through 16 games this season. 2011 Eastern Kansas League Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Four-time First Team All-Eastern Kansas League selection. Three-time Northeast Kansas Soccer Association First Team All-Region selection.
Junior midfielder, Shawnee Mission West (Overland Park, Kan.)
2012 Team record: 11-4-2
2012 Team standing: Class 6A Northeast Regional vs. Shawnee Mission East on Thursday
2012 Goals: 15
2012 Assists: 24
Career goals: 43
Career assists: 40
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Nebraska (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 2.4 points per game through 16 games this season. U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Olympic Development Program member. 2011 Sunflower League Offensive Player of the Year. No. 144 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 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.
Madison Aiman: Senior defender, Blue Valley West (Overland Park, Kan.)
Kirstyn Corder: Senior midfielder, Olathe East (Olathe, Kan.)
Maddie Dieker: Sophomore forward/midfielder, Free State (Lawrence, Kan.)
Braydi Frederick: Junior forward, Washburn Rural (Topeka, Kan.)
Haley Hanson: Sophomore midfielder, Olathe East (Olathe, Kan.)
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.