Eye on POY: Wisconsin boys soccer

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys 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.

Patrick Hodan

Senior forward, Marquette University High (Milwaukee, WI)

2011 Team record: 24-0-1

2011 Team standing: Won Div. 1 state title; Ranked No. 3 in ESPNHS Fab 50

2011 Goals: 45

2011 Assists: 10

2011 Points per game: 2.2

Career goals: 82

Career assists: 32

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Notre Dame

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-American; Wisconsin State Coaches Association Player of the Year; State record with eight state-tournament goals in 2011; School records for goals in a season and career.

Patrick Ruhland

Senior Forward, Mount Horeb High (Mount Horeb, WI)

2011 Team record: 20-2-2

2011 Team standing: Won Div. 2 state title

2011 Goals: 34

2011 Assists: 17

2011 Points per game: 2.12

Career goals: 63

Career assists: 39

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Wisconsin-Milwaukee

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; Three-time All-Conference; Scored only goal of Div. 2 state title game; Wisconsin State Journal Player of the Year; School career leader in points, assists.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys 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.

Mac Wheeler: Kettle Moraine High (Wales, WI) Senior goalkeeper

Lucas Cardona: Madison Memorial High (Madison, WI) Senior forward

Nate Rohde: Brookfield Central High (Brookfield, WI) Senior defender

Logan Ketterer: Prairie School (Racine, WI) Senior goalkeeper

Joe Naughton: Marquette University High (Milwaukee, WI) 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.