A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring's Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
THE WINNER: Ryan Walker-Hartshorn
School: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
Athletic achievement: Walker-Hartshorn led the Dragons to a 21-3-2 record and the CIF-North Central Section Division II tournament championship this past season. She scored 22 goals and passed for 14 assists, including six goals and three assists in Bishop O’Dowd’s four-game postseason run. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team, for which she plays outside back, Walker-Hartshorn was the 2012 All-East Bay Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She concluded her junior year with 61 goals and 29 assists in her prep career.
Academic excellence: Walker-Hartshorn has maintained a 3.35 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and tutor, at a homeless shelter and at a child care center.
“What makes Ryan Walker-Hartshorn such a good player is her intensity and drive,” said Roger Casci, head coach of rival Arroyo (San Lorenzo, Calif.). “She has all the qualities you want for a player: size, strength, speed and vision, but it’s her drive that makes her hard to defend.”
THE FUTURE: Walker-Hartshorn has verbally committed to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning in the fall of 2013.