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 forward, Leesville Road (Raleigh, N.C.)
2012 Team record: 25-1-1 (Class 4A)
2012 Team standing: Class 4A state semifinal vs. Green Hope on Friday
2012 Goals: 28
2012 Assists: 11
Career goals: 105
Career assists: 57
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: N.C. State University
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.5 points per game through her first 26 games this season. 2011 Class 4A Player of the Year. 2011 NSCAA All-American. No. 141 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.
Junior forward/midfielder, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)
2012 Team record: 23-0 (Class 4A)
2012 Team standing: Class 4A state semifinal vs. Leesville Road on Friday
2012 Goals: 26
2012 Assists: 18
Career goals: 43
Career assists: 26
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 2.2 points per game through her first 22 games this season. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team member. 2011 NSCAA Youth All-American. No. 40 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.
Cameron Castleberry: Junior forward, Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.)
Alexis Degler: Junior midfielder, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)
Caroline Lindquist: Senior midfielder, Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.)
Morgan Reid: Sophomore midfielder/forward, Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.)
Claire Wagner: Junior defender, Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.)
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.