The window on the Gatorade State Girls 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.
Junior forward, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
2012 Team record: 24-1-1
2012 Team standing: Class 5A state champions
2012 Goals: 22
2012 Assists: 17
Career goals: 26
Career assists: 22
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.6 points per game this season. 2012 Class 5A State Player of the Year. 2012 Broward County Player of the Year.
Senior midfielder, St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park, Fla.)
2012 Team record: 23-2-2
2012 Team standing: Class 1A state champions
2012 Goals: 52
2012 Assists: 36
Career goals: 150
Career assists: 182
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Florida State University
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 3.3 points per game this season. 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Female Soccer Player of the Year. 2012 Class 2A State Player of the Year. 2012 Times-Union All-First Coast Girls Soccer Player of the Year. No. 29 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.
Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Girls 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.
Miranda Freeman: Junior midfielder, Atlantic Community (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Lauren Green: Sophomore forward, Apopka (Fla.)
Yulie Lopez: Senior forward, American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Jasmine Paterson: Senior forward, Coral Shores (Tavernier, Fla.)
Brooke Sharp: Junior forward, Ponte Vedra (Fla.)
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.