Eye on POY: Kentucky 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.

Vince Shaw

Senior goalkeeper, Woodford County (Versailles, Ky.)

2011 Team record: 15-4-4

2011 Team standing: Lost 13th Region championship game

2011 Goals allowed (AVG.): 12 (0.52)

2011 saves (PCT.): 53 (81.5)

2011 shutouts: 15

Career shutouts: 15

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Xavier University

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded two shutouts in run to the 25th District title. 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2011 Kentucky Youth Soccer Boys Player of the Year. Named Honorable Mention All-State forward as a junior.

Neil Henley

Senior forward, St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.)

2011 Team record: 27-1-1

2011 Team standing: State champions

2011 Goals: 29

2011 Assists: 18

2011 Points per game: 2.04

Career goals: 49

Career assists: 32

Academics: A-minus average

Collegiate destination: Xavier University

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: In eight postseason games, totaled eight goals and eight assists with a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Male (Louisville, Ky.) in the 6th Region title game. Scored a goal in the 3-0 win over Ryle (Union, Ky.) in the state championship game. Amassed nine multi-goal games, including three hat tricks. Two-time First Team All-State selection. 2011 NSCAA All-Region IV selection. 2011 All-Tournament Team selection. No. 125 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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.

Danny Belza: Senior defender, St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.)

Chris Moore: Senior midfielder/defender, Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)

Ryan Perry: Senior defender, Louisville Collegiate School (Louisville, Ky.)

Jacob Scearce: Senior forward, Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)

Colyn Siekman: Senior midfielder, Conner (Boone, Ky.)

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.