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Eye on POY: Iowa boys soccer

The window on the Gatorade State Boys 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.

Mueng Sunday

Junior midfielder, West (Iowa City, Iowa)

2012 Team record: 13-1 (Class 4A)

2012 Team standing: Regular season ends on Tuesday

2012 Goals: 3

2012 Assists: 7

Career goals: 6

Career assists: 12

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 0.71 points per game this season. 2011 First Team All-State selection.

Eric Williams

Senior forward, Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)

2012 Team record: 12-4 (Class 4A)

2012 Team standing: Regular season ends on Monday

2012 Goals: 10

2012 Assists: 10

Career goals: 37

Career assists: 22

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Drake University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.33 points per game this season. 2011 Second Team All-State selection. Two-time First Team All-Central Iowa Metropolitan Conference selection.

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.

Patrick Bunting: Senior goalkeeper, Ankeny (Iowa)

Tyler Chavez: Senior midfielder, Iowa City (Iowa)

Fernando Pacheco: Junior midfielder, Iowa City (Iowa)

Alex Troester: Senior forward, Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa)

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.