Return of the POY: Vt.'s Lauren Bernard

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Lauren Bernard

Position: Midfielder/forward

Grade: Senior

School: Colchester (Vt.)

College: Boston College (verbal)

Height: 5-foot-3

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Player of the Year ... led the Lakers (10-5-3) to the 2010 Division I state championship game ... member of U-14 and U-15 National Teams ... member of the U-17 National Team player pool ... two-time First Team All-State selection as named the Burlington Free Press ... 2010 NSCAA All-American


Academics: 3.99 GPA

Extracurricular activities: youth soccer programs and camps volunteer

Tom Schaefer, head coach of rival South Burlington High: "She's one of the most determined and committed soccer players I've seen in a number of years. She has amazing pace, she's very quick and she's very smart. She also has a tremendous, tremendous left foot."

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls soccer underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Samantha Rock SR F Milton; Iris Dayton JR M U-32; Sam Labate SR MF Burr; Emily Osmer SR F Mill River; Madison Schaefer SR M South Burlington

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at poy@risemag.com.