Eye on POY: Nebraska girls soccer

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
11:27
AM ET
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.

Paige Nielsen
Senior forward/midfielder, Southeast (Lincoln, Neb.)

2012 Team record: 18-2
2012 Team standing: Lost Class A state championship game

2012 Goals: 38
2012 Assists: 11
Career goals: 79
Career assists: 36

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of North Carolina

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 2.5 points per game this season. 2011 Lincoln Journal Star First Team Super State selection. Two-time Class A First Team All-State honoree. No. 116 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

Jackie Tondl
Senior defender, Marian (Omaha, Neb.)

2012 Team record: 20-1
2012 Team standing: Class A state champions

2012 Goals: 11
2012 Assists: 4
2012 Points per game: 0.71
Career goals: 21
Career assists: 14

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Texas A&M (NLI)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 0.7 points per game this season. Led defense that allowed three goals all season. Two-time Lincoln Journal Star First Team Super State selection. No. 90 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.

Liz Bartels: Junior forward, Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.)
Rachel Brennan: Junior forward, Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)
Jaylyn Odermann: Senior defender, Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)
Taylor Saucier: Junior goalkeeper, Marian (Omaha, Neb.)
Hannah Wampler: Senior forward, Lincoln Southeast (Lincoln, Neb.)

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.

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