In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Kristi Kirshe of Franklin High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Kirshe is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Franklin High School.
The 5-foot-4 senior forward led the Panthers to a 22-0-1 record and the Division 1 state championship this past season. Kirshe scored 40 goals and passed for 13 assists, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Nashoba Regional High in the state title game. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the Boston Globe’s Division 1 Player of the Year, Kirshe was also named Miss Soccer by ESPNBoston.com. She concluded her prep soccer career with 102 goals and 44 assists.
Kirshe has maintained a 4.27 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a middle school math tutor and as a youth basketball, soccer and lacrosse coach. She’s also donated her time on behalf of the Relay for Life.
“Kristi Kirshe is the player to build a team around,” said Steve Santos, head coach of Attleboro High. “She works hard and makes others around her better.”
Kirshe has made a verbal commitment to attend Williams College where she will play soccer beginning this fall.
Kirshe joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Players of the Year Hayley Dowd, (2011-12, Peabody High School), Sam Mewis (2010 – 11 & 2009-10, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School), Danielle Dakin (2008–09, Minnechaug Regional High School), Hayley Brock (2007-08, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School), and Amy Caldwell (2006-2007, Braintree) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Below are other five winners from New England:
CONNECTICUT: SARAH MCCAULEY, CHASE COLLEGIATE
The 5-foot-7 junior forward scored 79 goals and passed for 25 assists this past season, leading the Highlanders (21-1) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class D semifinals. McCauley is a three-time NESPAC Class D All-Star and a two-time All-New England Region selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She concluded her junior year with 143 goals and 57 assists in her prep soccer career.
McCauley has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of fundraising campaigns to benefit AIDS research as well as the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange, which empowers girls in Afghanistan by teaching them to play soccer.
“What makes Sarah so dangerous is her field awareness and quickness with the ball,” said Kyle Halloran, head coach of the Forman School. “She has the ability to take possession all the way down the field if necessary, but if targeted she was incredibly quick with her feet to set up her teammates. While she is a very good player, she also makes every player around her better.”
McCauley has verbally committed to attend Yale University, where she will play soccer beginning in the fall of 2014.
MAINE: CAITLIN BUCKSBAUM, FALMOUTH
The returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-5 senior midfielder led the Yachtsmen to a 14-2-2 record and a third straight Class B state championship this past season. Bucksbaum scored eight goals and passed for 10 assists, including two assists in Falmouth’s state championship run. She is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year and the 2012 Class B Player of the Year.
Bucksbaum has maintained an A average in the classroom. The treasurer of the Falmouth High senior class, she has volunteered locally with the school’s Environmental Action Committee, as a peer math tutor and with Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“Caitlin hurt us because her pace and ability to control the ball in the midfield stymied my midfielders, making them ineffective,” said Steve Boyce, head coach of Morse High. “She set up most if not all the goals Falmouth scored against us in each of their one-goal victories.”
Bucksbaum has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Villanova University beginning this fall.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: MORGAN ANDREWS, MILFORD
The returning Gatorade National Player of the Year and the two-time returning Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 5-foot-9 senior forward led the Spartans to a 16-3-1 record and the Division II state title this past season. Andrews scored 31 goals and passed for 18 assists, notching both goals in Milford’s 2-1 win over Souhegan High in the state final. Andrews is the captain of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women’s National Team and a member of the Under-20 and Under-23 National Team player pools. The 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Player of the Year and a three-time NSCAA All-American selection, she concluded her prep soccer career with 114 goals and 53 assists.
Andrews has maintained a 3.13 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and mentor in addition to founding and actively promoting the “Kicks for Cans” charity program that involved coaches and players donating their time in exchange for canned goods that are brought to area food banks.
“I have been trying to figure out what makes Morgan Andrews so good for the last 4-5 years,” said Dwayne Andreasen, head coach of Souhegan High. “Morgan is a very dedicated and driven young lady on the soccer pitch. When competing against her or just watching her play, you can see her determination in everything she does.”
Andrews has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Notre Dame beginning this fall.
RHODE ISLAND: MADISON DAMM, NORTH KINGSTOWN
The 5-foot-4 senior midfielder scored 11 goals and passed for nine assists this past season, leading the Skippers (9-3-4) to the Division I state quarterfinals. Damm was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a two-time First Team All-State honoree. She concluded her prep soccer career with 50 goals and 34 assists.
Damm has maintained a 3.17 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach in addition to donating her time at a homeless shelter and at the Sargent Rehabilitation Center in Warwick.
“Madison Damm was the engine that kept her team running,” said Martin Yarumian, head coach of Bay View Academy. “She possesses the little extra quality to her that others don’t have. It is dangerous to not know where she is at all times.”
Damm has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Syracuse University beginning this fall.
VERMONT: KATIE STAMES, PEOPLES ACADEMY
The 5-foot-4 junior forward scored 43 goals and passed for 20 assists this past season, leading the Wolves (18-0) to the Division 3 state championship. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Stames was also named the Times Argus Player of the Year and was a First Team All-State choice by the Burlington Free Press.
Stames has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and youth soccer programs.
“Stames is an incredibly gifted attacking player,” said Jeff Burroughs, head coach at St. Johnsbury Academy. “She’s very creative and she’s the quickest offensive player we saw. She’s unpredictable and very good technically.”
Stames will begin her senior year of high school this fall.