Eye on POY: Maine 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.

Caitlin Bucksbaum

Junior midfielder, Falmouth (Falmouth, Maine)

2011 Team record: 13-4-1 (Class B)

2011 Team standing: Class B state champions

2011 Goals: 10

2011 Assists: 11

2011 Points per game: 1.17

Career goals: 15

Career assists: 21

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Tallied one point in all four Class B postseason games, including the assist on the game-winner in a 1-0 state final win over Presque Isle (Maine). Had a direct hand in four of Falmouth’s nine postseason goals (44.4 percent). 2011 First Team All-State selection as named by the Maine Sunday Telegram. 2011 First Team All-Western Maine Conference selection.

Ashley Robinson

Senior forward, Bangor (Bangor, Maine)

2011 Team record: 18-0 (Class A)

2011 Team standing: Class A state champions

2011 Goals: 26

2011 Assists: 15

2011 Points per game: 2.28

Career goals: 75

Career assists: 50

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: University of Maine

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded four goals and five assists in four Class A postseason games, including a pair of assists in a 4-0 win over Scarborough (Maine) in the state final. Had a direct hand in nine of Bangor’s 18 postseason goals (50 percent). 2011 NSCAA State Player of the Year. 2011 Player of the Year as named by the Maine Sunday Telegram.

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.

Kip Chipman: Senior defender, Brunswick (Maine)

Tori Field: Senior forward/midfielder, Morse (Bath, Maine)

Addie Labonte: Senior defender, York (Maine)

Aley Leonardi: Senior forward, Kennebunk (Maine)

Grace MacLean: Junior forward, Bangor (Maine)

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.