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Saturday, February 4, 2012
Eye on POY: Minnesota girls soccer

By Ben Rohrbach

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year 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.

Kylie Schwarz
Junior midfielder, Wayzata (Minneapolis, Minn.)

2011 Team record: 18-2-2 (Class AA)
2011 Team standing: Class AA state champions

2011 Goals: 8
2011 Assists: 6
2011 Points per game: 0.64
Career goals: 26
Career assists: 23

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Wisconsin

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Notched two goals in the Trojans’ six-game road to the state title; also helped a defense that allowed just three goals in the postseason. 2011 NSCAA All-Region V selection. 2011 Region II Olympic Development Program member. Two-time Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association Class AA All-State selection. No. 50 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

Jenna Roering
Junior forward, Centennial (Circle Pines, Minn.)

2011 Team record: 18-2-2 (Class AA)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class AA state semifinals

2011 Goals: 34
2011 Assists: 12
2011 Points per game: 2.09
Career goals: 70
Career assists: 26

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Santa Clara University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Tallied six goals and four assists in six postseason games, giving her a direct hand in 10 of the Cougars’ 16 goals (62.5 percent) in the playoffs. 2011 U-17 National Team camp attendee. Two-time Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association Class AA All-State selection. Two-time Class AA All-State Tournament Team selection. No. 14 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 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.

Sophie Babo: Freshman forward, Orono Senior (Long Lake, Minn.)
Alexis Foley: Senior forward, White Bear Lake Area (Minn.)
Simone Kolander: Junior forward, Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minn.)
Lauren Miller: Junior forward/midfielder, St. Louis Park (Minn.)
Jill Richgels: Senior forward, Simley (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.)

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.